Menu

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.

Journey to Cowichan’s Past

posted by Celia Brogan

Students at times have trouble identifying with historical events, especially when those events occurred to a cultural group other than the one(s) with which they are familiar. One way to assist students to identify and begin to understand the emotional and social costs of past injustices is historical fiction.

There is a specific type of historical fiction that I have always found particularly engaging: that which tells of a protagonist who finds herself pulled back through time and experiences a series of historical events firsthand.  There are a handful of great examples of this motif in YA literature: Fog Magic by Julia Sauer, Handful of Time by Kit Pearson, and The Grave by James Heneghan, to name just a few.
Today’s BC lit post adds Hannah and the Spindle Whorl and Hannah and the Salish Sea by Carol Ann Shaw to that list.

In the first book Hannah lives in present-day Cowichan Bay. On her walk through a patch of forest one day she discovers an old Salish spindle whorl and it transports her back in time where she meets Yisella, a Salish girl her own age.  They become friends and it is through this friendship that Hannah witnesses a small portion of the cultural pillaging that occurred when white Europeans started spreading out along South Coastal BC.

It looks as though a third book about Hannah is coming out this fall. This is a great trilogy to incorporate into a unit learning about the history of the peoples and cultures of South Coastal BC.

Preparing for the #bctelabook club chat

This Sunday brings our first book club twitter chat about a work of fiction. Chatting about Medicine Walk will be a different experience from our previous chats about professional texts. As you finish the novel and prepare your thoughts for sharing, consider these prompts and provocations:

  • How might stories have the power to heal, in both their telling and hearing?
  • What is the relationship between land and place, and memory?
  • Do the stories about our past need to come from our blood-relations?
  • For whom is the “medicine walk,” really? Are there more multiple walks being taken?
  • What other texts would you group with Medicine Walk?
  • …and other thoughts or questions you have are most welcome

We are looking forward to meeting you online, or in person for those who will get together in preparation for the twitter chat.
Happy Reading!

In-person gathering: 9:30-11am, March 8th, Pleasant Beans coffee house, 39 Kingsway, Vancouver (attached to the Mount Pleasant Community Centre). Or there might be one in your community: ask around!
Twitter chat: 11am-12noon, March 8th, online, hashtag #bctelabook.

Reading Across the Curriculum by Crag Hill

To provide more opportunities for students to practice writing, many universities instituted Writing Across the Cur riculum (WAC) programs starting in the 1980s. These programs are based on the principles that writing promotes learning, that writing is the responsibility of all content teachers, that writing should be integrated in all disciplines through out a student’s educational career, and that only by practicing authentic writing in every discipline will students learn to communicate within that discipline (The WAC Clearinghouse, 2009). These collaborative programs have filtered into K-12 secondary schools, espe ially in the last decade due to the standards movement (Brewster and Klump, 2004).

(more…)

Beyond the Book Club: Info-circles in Ancient Roman Studies by Jane MacMillan & Christy Rollo

Jane MacMillan is a lover of all things literacy and enjoys sharing her passion for literature both with her students at school and at home with her three children.

Christy Rollo knew she wanted to be a teacher from the moment she taught her brother how to tie his shoe laces. She is now having the ultimate teaching experience with her two young daughters.

In September of 2006, Christy, a Grade 6/7 teacher, approached Jane, a teacher-librarian with a question: How could Christy engage all the diverse learners in her class, including reluctant learners and English language learners? Jane was new to the school, and Christy had been teaching Gr. 6/7 for a number of years at the school. We were looking to collaborate with the library as a venue. Further, Christy wanted to help all of her learners connect with Social Studies in a meaningful way, even though it included reading a variety of texts, note-making, critical thinking and discussion, all areas in which reluctant and ESL learners may struggle due to gaps in skills and background knowledge. Looking to develop authentic conversation and create a greater depth in student engagement as part of a unit on Ancient Rome, we decided to try something new; that is, bring information books to the traditional “book club.” Thus, “info-circles” was born, proving to be not only a popular choice among our students, but an incredibly rewarding teaching experience for us, as well. (more…)

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: