Book Week 2012 activities and NYR

We are combining our Book Week celebrations this year with the National Year of Reading activities.

The first event was held on Monday. The lunchtime session called “Battle of the Books” involved teachers and a senior student at our school. Each had 5 minutes to convince the audience that their favourite book was the best and that we should all read it. Each speaker was absolutely passionate about their book. Some reading skills, props, cajoling and questions were just some of the tactics used. It is generally said there can be only one winner and, yes, there was one book voted as the officially declared winner and that was The Passage by Justin Cronin. The other books presented to the audience were The Bet by Anton Chekov, Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Each one of the titles had plenty of support and all books will be picked up and read by more of our students after the Monday’s event so everyone of them is really a winner.

Two of our National Year of Reading competitions are finishing up with the voting phase during Book Week.

We ran a photography competition, through term 2 up until last Friday, called Snap It!

You can see a slide show of the photos the boys entered on our library blog. We asked students to enter photographs that celebrated reading; in all aspects including reading in unusual places. This meant that some used their creativity and Photoshop skills to create some very unusual shots. We have them as part of our display this week as well as on the computers around the library as screen savers and on the big television screen.

The photos have created quite a talking point with the other students since being put on display and we are encouraging all to vote for the people’s choice award. One of them, a panoramic view of the library will be used as our banner photo on our intranet, so already a win for us with that one. We will be able to use of these photos to promote reading in the future as I am very proud of the efforts of all the boys. I must also mention our wonderful photography teacher Alison Agnew, who has supported our efforts and encouraged the boys to take on the task. I know many of the boys appreciate her skill in teaching them how to “see” and observe things as well as the more manual photographic skills.

The other competition that finishes with a voting component is the Film It! competition.

This competition involved students creating short videos that again celebrated books and reading. We had boys enter book trailers and some specific videos about reading. To give the boys some ideas we ran some of the internet videos, that celebrated reading and books, during lunchtimes throughout term 2. We also regularly show book trailers. Our own student videos have been running each day during lunchtime during Book Week with voting taking place both in the library and on-line via our intranet. Many year 8 students created book trailers and I have posted about our classroom processes before  with information about it, and a marking rubric for teachers, also on my reading wiki

Images and words: using, manipulating, playing

Whilst I was on-line this morning up popped a couple of emails, One was sent by a teacher and it included the photograph below.

I looked around the web and found a blog, CFRU 93.3fm Election Radio, which posted the photo with the following text

It would seem that the credit crunch is having a really significant impact in the UK.

Even those more fortunate than most are having to make difficult decisions to ensure that their standard of living is maintained.

I don’t know if they created the photo but it certainly brought a laugh to students and teachers alike. I had a great discussion last week with the boys in the reading club/group. We started off talking about some books, then got om to how the media manipulated readers by the language used in their stories and finally discussed the economic crisis and the speeches made by politicians (what do they really mean?)

I was sitting in the library and around me there was a display of newspaper headlines for this year. I had collected these news banners for the morning delivery of papers over this year. So many words in bold print saying…?

These headlines have caused quite a bit of discussion with the students when they have come into the library over the past week.

I then started thinking about what activities you might base on these headlines. They could be the basis of some interesting approaches to language. Continue reading

Book Week so far

Think for yourself, Defy convention, Read ... a banned book

The week so far has been going well and a lot of fun. The caption for the display came from one that a library in the US used during Banned Books Week. The display on banned books has caused quite a bit of discussion amongst the students. It is interesting to listen to their comments about the books that have been challenged, or banned, and the reasons given for the bans. 

The students who have been participating also seem to be enjoying themselves whilst taking part in the activities. The Glogster activity on the first day was quieter, whether it was because they knew very little about it, or the fact that it was the beginning of the week I don’t know as yet.

The “draw your own, environmentally friendly vehicle” activity yesterday provided a lot of laughs. The drawings may not win art prizes but they were certainly inventive and the explanations were priceless.

Today was the wordle competition and, because each wordle had been constructed from a book description entered into our catalogue, it was an added reminder about keyword searching and using the catalogue. They found that they could find the answers quite easily, if they chose the right keyword to search. After guessing the answers, and being sure they were right, they went on line and found that sometimes they were not! We did not know how long this would take but the boys used most of lunchtime to work out the Wordles, so we will have to have them create their own another time.

Tomorrow is the “construct a paper plane” activity. Many students have already expressed interest in this activity. We will have a “Fly off” at the end and measure the distance each travels. What has this to do with book week? Well if the them is fuel your mind, then we are loking for inventiveness, design and construction technique, and again, some fun.

The staff comments about the staff quiz were funny but the finished quiz sheets are starting to come in. So all in all, an enjoyable week has been had by all.