Although Book Week is done and dusted for another year, I am still considering the many and varied ways the shortlisted books can be 'put to good use'.
Today, my Kindergarten class revisited The Dress-Up Box by Patrick Guest and Nathaniel Eckstrom, by literally dressing up.
I brought in a range of much-loved dress-ups from home, and gave each student a token dress-up eg pirate hat, unicorn horn, tiger tail, wig etc, and placed the girls in groups of four. The dress-ups and groups were assigned randomly, and the girls were asked to think about who or what their character was, and then to consider a simple storyline that brought the weird assortment together.
I was astonished at how enthusiastic all of the students were, including the girls who are usually more reticent in joining activities, Yes, it was dress-ups. Yes, it was play. And it's true, not all groups worked completely cooperatively,
However, the learning was powerful. After each group had performed, I asked each character a few questions (akin to the hot seat idea), and the girls had to really reflect on their character. I also asked some groups what might happen next in their story.
These were young Kindergarten girls who were able to create characters and storylines, and see the relationship between their plays and stories that are read aloud. They reluctantly left the library, but were proudly calling themselves 'story-authors'.
On this page, I don my much-loved (and now well-worn) Teacher Librarian hat.