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Don’t have much time? Try this.

Posted by Celia Brogan

We’re all so busy. We are passionate educators and want the best learning experiences for our students and there are always so many things we want to plan for them, and learn for ourselves. Finding new local texts to offer our students is something that can take a bit of time if we don’t have reliable sources to which to turn.

Choc Lily logoWell here is a source for you: The Chocolate Lily Book Awards is a reader’s choice award for young BC readers reading BC authors and illustrators. Read your way through the shortlist (or give the titles to your students) for a great snapshot of some of the best current BC books for young and middle years readers.

Even better, register your class (or ask your teacher-librarian to register your school) and vote for your favourites! What a great way to participate in our province’s reading culture.

Homegrown, and still growing

Posted by Celia Brogan

What writing is more homegrown BC writing than that of our students? The BCTELA Student Writing Contest is more than a great way for students to give their writing a broader audience, the published pieces, Voices Visible, is also a useful resource to show our students what their peers are writing.

BCTELA members receive a copy of Voices Visible free, and you can order additional copies to make up a lit circle/text set group, or enough for a whole class set.

BC features as a setting in many of the pieces in Voices Visible, either completely or sometimes as a juxtaposition to an immigrant’s home of origin. Students can find their home in these pieces written by their peers in a way that may be different than from pieces written by adults. Do you have back issues of Voices Visible? Try it: copy a piece or two and see what your students think, or try including a book or two in a poetry text set.

This year’s submissions are due at the end of this month. Click here for the application form and contest rules. You must be a current BCTELA member to submit your students’ work.

Poetry Month: day 6

I have been doing a poetry activity with a grade 3/4 class this week inspired by the collection of poems by Mary O’Neill titled Hailstones and Halibut Bones.  All the poems in the book are about a colour and are listy-type poems describing what each colour looks, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels like.  There is a nice (but not intimidating) combination of literal and metaphorical examples in each poem.

After reading a few of the poems to the class I asked them to divide their paper into four quadrants.  Each quadrant was then labeled with one of the five senses (they would choose 4 of 5 in total.)  They selected their preferred colour and wrote it at the top of the page as a title.  This became our brainstorming page.  Students tried to come up with four or five things for each category.  As they started to lose steam, I read them a few more of the poems, which they could hear with more attuned ears now that they were getting ready to write their own.

Once most of the class had at least three or four things in each quadrant (ie. three things yellow smells like, four things yellow tastes like, etc) they turned the page over and used their brainstormed ideas to construct their own colour poem.

We will type them when they’re done (which will act as an additional ‘draft’) and post them around the library among the Kandinsky-inspired artwork created by another class.

 

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