Term 4 has seen about 200 class groups of Kindergarten and Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) students, across NSW and beyond, participate in the Bear and Chook Books Rap. A book rap is a discussion between schools about a selected literary topic, conducted via a blog. This particular book rap focused on two picture books, Bear and Chook and Bear and Chook by the sea by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay, who contributed generously to the blog discussion as special guests.
In NSW, book raps are hosted by the Department of Education and Training’s School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit, and are supported by online programming and teaching notes and a concurrent Teacher Rap. This rap also featured a streamed video of the creators reading Bear and Chook by the sea. Students, their teachers and teacher librarians, enjoyed exploring the relationship between the written and visual texts of these excellent picture books, and the theme of friendship. Groups of students created digital stories based on the main characters, and posed questions to the books’ creators.
I’m really loving the power of Interactive Whiteboard technology to bring the resources of Internet to my fingertips and making said resources big enough for everyone to see!
Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 students are studying fables this term, and this week is Aesop’s “The grasshopper and the ant”.
An obviously useful website has been DLTK’s Crafts for kids , and I’ve supplemented the text of the fable from the site with Google Images searches for some amazing graphics of grasshoppers, ants and corn kernels.
A word of warning about the following short Youtube version of “The ant and the grasshopper”, as told by Jack Spirko on “The Survival Podcast”. It’s fascinating for its political stance, and as an example of how stories have been told, retold and evolved with the retelling. After previewing it on my own, I elected to use it in lessons only up to the image of the dead grasshopper being overwhelmed by ants. (The sequence after that is very confronting, and perhaps useful for higher stage levels discussing the persuasiveness of media products. But not essential or relevent for my purposes.)
Bear and Chook’s space adventure: fun with Kindergarten book rappers in the school library today, as part of the Bear and Chook books rap. During Circle Time, the students created three new adventures for Bear and Chook and we uploaded the photos as a Flickr slideshow: