In March we are invited to celebrate books and reading during the NZ Book Month.
How about inspiring your class to create a book for others?
Over the last four years working in Education for Enterprise projects I saw many successful partnerships between older and younger children in the creation of stories. In my experience, this worked best with Years 8 – 10 as the authors, as it can be more difficult to create a book for children that would provide enough material for NCEA assessments, though I’m happy to be proven wrong!
There are many ways to approach a project like this. Students can write a book then present it to younger children or they can be much more involved from the beginning, with the younger children acting as clients who give feedback. Some examples:
- Students create myths based on local geography and illustrate these stories. Students then approach local early childhood centres or Primary schools to read the stories to the children.
- Secondary school students approach a local early childhood centre and ask about what kinds of books they might need for the children or books the children might want, such as those involving local bird life or sea creatures. They begin to create books in consultation with the centre.
- Students are paired up with pre-school children and conduct several visits to the centre to get to know each other. The older students can create a personalised book for that student based on their preferences.
I have seen this as a stunning way to get students engaged with reading and writing, especially those who have been previously reluctant.