A 'minute's silence' held after Ice Dagger Pete died
#NZreadaloud invites classrooms across the country to join in a special project: exploring the same local book over a term.
#NZreadaloud founder Kerri Thompson says she was inspired to start the project after participating in the Global Read Aloud and her vision is: One book to connect Kiwi kids across Aotearoa.
The initiative runs for the first three terms of the year. A new book is agreed upon each term, and for each age group taking part.
This term, the team chose Michael Petherick’s multimedia extravaganza #Tumeke (Massey University Press and Annual Ink) to read together. We asked Kerri to tell us about the rich learning opportunities that come from one book. She writes:
This term's book #Tumeke was a gamble! Being an epistolary novel we wondered how it was going to work as a read aloud. But I realised there was a great story full of relatable characters, surprising friendships, Kiwi content, fun, and quirkiness. The thing that was really fantastic was the potential for other learning opportunities that could come from a study of this book; alongside the regular comprehension learning we always do.
The reading aloud part has been way more challenging than a regular novel. I had to figure out the best way to include emoji while reading aloud so that it wasn't distracting from the story. I had to make sure the kids knew who was speaking while reading short text messages that were stop and start.
I was lucky in my classroom that my principal had bought 4 extra books for the kids to use in class. This made all the difference as they were able to follow the text as I read but it also meant they could go back to the book to re-read or look at something more closely. What was impossible to read aloud were the intentional spelling errors through the book. I did alert my kids to this aspect of the story and they were there to give authenticity to the characters.
The multimedia delivery of the story really engaged my kids (and others from what other teachers have said). All the kids were motivated to really study each community noticeboard as they realised that these notices became integrated with the characters, their stories, and the Newtoun community.
I loved how the book opened up numerous engaging and authentic learning opportunities. The book was a brilliant example of how it can be the centre of your programme; with many reading, writing, and inquiry activities. Some kids got curious about wrestling and the different moves that were mentioned, while others wrote raps and shared them on the Flipgrid app. There were opportunities for kids to follow instructions and draw, then create their own instructional videos or diagrams. There were opportunities to teach persuasive writing and learning about advertising techniques. Kids got interested in the foods that were written about (lolly-cake, pastel de nata, goat curry). They saw kamoji as a legitimate form of communication. These were just some of the learning opportunities that rose from the text. There were many others!
The biggest learning and the one that has taken over many of our classroom programmes is ‘The Festival.’ With the book being centred around the organisation of a community festival, I had the idea that we could culminate our reading with a virtual festival. I didn't really know what this would look like but it was one of those authentic learning opportunities which I knew we had to embrace and run with! It has certainly been organic!
Firstly we got each class involved to elect 2 class representatives who would attend weekly virtual Committee meetings to plan and organise our very own Virtual Festival. This in itself has been an incredible learning experience; why and how to take meeting minutes, how to stick to agenda, how to make decisions etc.
Kids in one school have created a #Tumeke website so we had a central place for all festival stuff. These same kids have used Roblox to create and build a #Tumeke game within this platform using the characters as game players. It is very cool and we can't wait for festival week for the kids to be able to go in and play! Every class is putting together a virtual slide for the festival which will include links to go and watch or participate in something.
Here is a screenshot of one a couple of my boys are creating - A Gaming Arcade!
The virtual festival will take place during the week of 14 - 18 September.
After contacting the author Michael Petherick early on in the readaloud, he agreed to get onto Twitter so the kids could connect on that social media platform. This has been so valuable as along with the obvious things like the kids having their questions answered and sharing to him what they like about the book, the kids learn about being a respectful digital citizen and also how to structure a meaningful tweet - all lifelong skills!
We have also organised a Festival @ Tutira with the incredible support of Writers in Schools. On Tuesday 22 September Tutira School will host author Michael Petherick at our very own Festival. Because we are limited to 100 visitors at this stage, we have invited the senior class from Kereru School and the class from Tamatea Intermediate who are participating in #NZreadaloud. We are in the process of organising what we will do but ideas so far are:
-Who can shovel the pile of dirt in the shortest time
-Lolly cake competition
-Kiss the Goat (and other cute farm animals!!)
-A 'live' rap battle with the author
-Create your own wrestling move competition
-Card and book swap
So we are hoping it works out and is a whole lot of fun for everyone.
Read more about #NZReadAloud on our blog: