We have organised a number of activities for book week this year. Over the past few weeks we have worked with the photography teacher to produce Book Spine Poetry.
One year 10 class and three year 7 classes spent a period in the library looking around the books – fiction and non-fiction – aas well as using the catalogue to put together their verses.
I thought it was a great way to get our boys to look closely at our collection and, in some cases, they went to shelves they had never looked at before. They also spent time calling up titles in the catalogue and then trying to find them on the shelf. All the time learning about how to find things in the library without realising it.
After talking about the task and showing the boys some examples, they all became totally engrossed in the task. To begin I had collected some titles I thought would make good starting points on trolleys and they used them to get ideas for a story line they wanted to follow. After that the ideas came thick and fast. The year 7 students really surprised me. Working in pairs, they came up with a lot of “stories” they wanted to tell and found book titles to match. For 75 minutes they were totally engrossed in finding titles. Most of the year 7 boys put created 4-5 book spine verses. The year 10 students took longer to get the stories together and probably were trying for more complexity with their verses.
The photography teacher used the session to teach the boys how to use the SLR cameras and the year 10 students had to produce clear close-up photos without any flaring due to a flash hitting the book covers.
The competition was open this week for to all students to enter a photo of their poetry onto our library intranet space. After Friday we will print out the photos and display them (as well as making sure everyone knows where the digital copies are) so the college community can have a vote on the ones they like best as well as a panel (including some of our English teachers for a more critical view)
I have put a few of the early examples onto my pinterest board