Book Clubs

City of Ember
This term some year 5-6 students are exploring the novel 'City of Ember' by Jeanne Du Prau.
To get us thinking about some of the themes in this novel, our first task was to draw a picture, but there was a scarcity of resources. Everyone coped with this and problem solved in different ways, although everyone found it very pressurised and frustrating!

We Are Learning To...

To achieve our goals we are keeping tack of key events in the story that help to make the plot successful. We also have some interesting vocab to tune into as we read. At the end of term we are going to watch the movie and compare the book to the movie - everyone is very excited about this.

Our first task was to draw a high-quality piece of art about our most precious possession. Unfortunately there wasn't enough paper, horribly big crayons and not enough colours except for white! It was a harsh introduction to a scarcity of resources that our characters Lina and Doon were going to face in our novel City of Ember. Below are some reactions from students...

April 2017

This year we entered 2 teams in the Regional Lit Quiz.  We also took a team of passionate year 5 readers to support the teams and get a taste ready for next year. As you can see we were a very excited group! Congrats to both year 5-6 teams, it was a long day of concentrating and you were wonderful!

March 2017

Bookapedia have been 'speed booking!' Rebecca has been putting aside brand new books for us to look over first. We got 3 chances to explore 3 books, including one we might never give a second look to. It was a VERY quiet session and then a frenzy of book issuing...

Term 2 2015              You be the Judge!

Well the books have gone to trial and sentence has been passed. A huge thank you to Troy and Jean from RSS and Ross from PN City Library for being our amazing judges. Not only did they manage to narrow down the suspects to just 10, they are ranked them!
 Here is the verdict:

10. Tom Gates
9. The Secret Garden
8. Wonder
7. Harry Potter
6. Narnia
5. Nanny Piggins
4. Holes
3. Percy Jackson
2. David Williams books
1. Out Of My Mind 

Everyone did such an amazing job of representing their book(s) that our librarian, Rebecca,  was taking reserves from students, teachers and parents during the trial breaks!

Term 1 2015
Parents are always asking what books would be good for their child so we have decided to come up with our '10 must read books by the time you leave RSS.' Mmm What a choice! We tried to come up with a master list. Ana was nearly tearing her hair out in despair - "It's like choosing between my best friends!" she cried. Bella's brain was fighting with itself  - but we have managed to come up with a list of books. Watch this space! Soon we will put up which of these books made our final list and then we will put these on trial; with lawyers, a judge and jury and lots of drama!

Term 3-4 2014               The  Wonder Experiment
As part of our Wonder unit, the students wanted to know what it would feel like to have an impairment that would affect their schooling. Some people were restricted to wheelchairs, others walking aids. Some students lost the use of their voice. They were amazed at the attention it brought - and they didn't like it! It made everyone think about how they treat people, and how they like to be treated.

Week three vocab extension
Wonder is full of juicy, rich words and we have enjoyed exploring their meanings and why the author might have chosen them to create imagery. Today we used all those juicy words the author used in Via's perspective of Wonder and had a bit of a play. Students sorted the words into categories of their own choosing; the only brief that they had to meet was for the purpose 'of extending their own vocab and understanding of words.' So, how to sort them? This evoked lots of discussion, with the most common ways by the amount of syllables, and prefixes/suffixes/root words. Who thought words could have caused so much discussion and experimentation? We had a ball, and in the process learnt a lot more about words. Below Ben shows how he sorted his words into syllables.

Ben was fascinated that the most common syllable length of these juicy words was 2-3 syllables - surely great readers like us would be hungry for more complex words? "No," Jacob quickly intervened,  making a connection. You get confused and quickly bored with really long words you don't understand like science and medical books. This got them thinking about writing. Is there a 'recipe' to successful writing so that the reader is challenged by words but not put off? Does our society want words with longer syllables or are we lazy and go for shorter, easier ones? A quick trip to the library and few dictionaries issued later and I think there may be an experiment in the planning from these two...
Ana sorted her words by prefixes/suffixes/root words.  There was lots of discussion about root words and their origins, with lots of cross-checking of dictionaries. It was fascinating to find out the origins of some words and make connections that would help us to remember what the word meant. Sorting the words quickly showed patterns of common suffixes, and lots of predicting of what prefixes like 'dis' mean. How amazing it would be to have a job making up new words everyday!

 Term 1 2014  Novel Studies

A parent recommended this book to me and from the moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Written from different perspectives there are some important themes and issues this book raises and a call to social action - perfect for Bookapedia!  Published in 2012,  R.J. Palacio’s first novel ‘Wonder’ is about ten year old August who was born with rare facial deformities that have caused his life to be anything but ordinary...and ordinary is what he wishes for more than anything.  Auggie feels ordinary on the inside, but he is constantly reminded of his flaws by how people respond when they see him. August displays remarkable understanding toward those who make him feel like a monster and he shows us the bravery it takes to face the world. One cannot help but want to be a better person after reading this book. This is a story that will touch the heart of every reader - I am sure you will enjoy reading it too.  It is a 'must-read' for 2014. 

This year Bookapedia is being run as part of the students' classroom reading programme and they have identified personal reading goals from their school report's next learning steps in reading. Bookapedia students are typically challenged to make connections text-text and beyond to their own lives; analysing the authors message and style. This term I will also be working with these students as part of their in-class writing programme. We will be exploring the author's approach of perspective to connect with the reader, as well as the symbolism and precepts that are explored across the book.

The BookTalsies will be finding out the history of their Book Club name by exploring the novel  'Frindle' by Andrew Clements. As part of their classroom writing and reading programme we will be having fun with words. Looking at why authors choose the words they do to create impact and exploring the origins and connections between words to help meet their personal reading goals of developing vocab and building a range of strategies to make connections beyond the text. Frindle is about Nick, a challenging student and Mrs Granger his English teacher.  
 “Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she's also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen -- it's a frindle.

It doesn't take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and Mrs. Granger would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens.”  
Bookapedia and Book Talsie student blog's are amongst those on the left. Click through to see what they have been learning, and the connections they have made toward their personal reading goal this term. They welcome feedback and comments!

    Imagine...expect the unexpected!

This has been the catch phrase for both Bookapedia (year 5-6) and BookTalsies (year 3-4) in term 3. After exploring Norman Messenger's new book 'The Land of Neverbelieve' we decided to launch the book to our Library Hub in style.  As passionate readers, we want other students in our school to see books the way we do: as opportunities to escape into adventures, fantasies and facts only limited by our imaginations.

Book Talsies are writing their own short stories morphing two well-known book characters into one. Ever wondered how Scaredy solves mysteries? Or what kinds of magical confectionery Willy Potter might dream up? Keep watching this space as there are some amazing stories coming soon....

Bookapedia split into skills groups and worked on transforming the Hub to encourage students to try new genres. The adventure section is now enclosed in its own cave hiding an adventure map to keep any explorer busy. The horror section is closely guarded by an enormous spider who ‘gobbles horror books for breakfast’ while Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Santa Claus are fending off a ferocious dragon in the fantasy section.

We loved the trees on Norman Messenger’s Island of Neverbelieve so much we just had to recreate them in our Hub! Now we have our very own knot tree, that rather than tying knots in itself to remember, it ties knots in itself to hold new books coming into our library. Our very own brick tree  is going to be used to recommend great books to others. Here are some photos:

But to get those books off the shelf, we first had to get people in the door. So an enthusiastic team set about transforming the entrance to our hub with a story mountain framing the door. Check out some pictures of our hard work below.

It has been a busy term and we couldn't have done it without the help of our Librarian, Rebecca, and parent, Miriam. Thank you so much for your time, enthusiasm and amazing talents! Bookapedia met as a group at the end of term and reflected on our purpose and products. Here are some of the comments that arose: 

I keep picking projects that are too big.
It cuts through boring stuff in my other class.
Books are like a secret world. They are like a rocket to take you to that secret world.
Separating us into groups was good because you get to work with some people not everyone.
We have been successful because we have been making different stuff in a different way
It has been sparking imaginations

Have you opened a good book lately?

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