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Friday, 9 March 2012

Reading Roadshow

How to Get Kids to Write: That was the question or rather the focus of my break out session presentation which formed part of the School Library Association of Queensland's (SLAQ Gold Coast) Reading Roadshow.

Held at Aquinas College on the Gold Coast, and facilitated by the ineffable Marj Osborne this timely event encompassing the 2012 National Year of Reading and new National Curriculum allowed an audience of teachers and teacher librarians to gain an overview of a variety of literacy based ideas.



Dimity with Narelle Oliver and Marj Osborne

I was fortunate to be able to work alongside esteemed and hugely talented children's author and illustrator, Narelle Oliver. She gave us a detailed look at how Picture Books contribute to the Literature Strand for Primary Levels (years 4 - 7) within the Australian Curriculum. I found it fascinating that the various Focus Points of each year level could be so succinctly and beautifully identified within the humble picture book. Narelle used examples of her own prize winning titles to illustrate those focus points however stressed that enjoyment of the book, and the overall reading experience should be the primary objective of the curriculum; a case of literature versus literacy.

Narelle encapsulating the power of picture books and their use in literature.

Other sessions included Running Online Book Clubs, E-book platforms, Online Book sites and Apps and Asian Literature in the National Curriculum, all designed to increase awareness of the huge pool of resources available to connect kids with books.

And how do I try to connect kids with books, besides writing them for them? Thanks to delving into How to Get Kids to Write, I realise, more than ever how intrinsically the two elements of Literacy; Reading and Writing are linked.

I thoroughly enjoyed this gig. It was a treat to work beside and of course learn more from Narelle. It was immensely gratifying to be included as a worthy writerly contemporary. It was an honour to be able to share my specks (slowly maturing into pearls) of wisdom with others as keen as improving our kids literacy as I.

Stick around for another post soon when I share the reasons why it's important to get kids to write and exactly how to get them to write.