According to Learning for the Future, one of the three key roles of the TL is that of curriculum leader and many are wearing that hat as they guide the implementation of the Australian National Curriculum in their schools. However, for many, much of what is done for that is a behind-the-scenes role as resources supporting its various strands and outcomes “magically” appear just as they are needed, and little thought is given by the classroom-based teachers just how the resources might have been identified, located, evaluated, selected, acquired and processed so they are right there when required.
But on May 22 the National Simultaneous Storytime will give us an opportunity to be the star on the stage rather than the guide on the side. This is a chance to work with all teachers across all year levels to share a story and develop a range of before-and-after activities that are tailored to the needs of each class so they can fully appreciate both the text and the experience.
This year’s text is The Wrong Book by Nick Bland and it really can be used across all ages. Thoughtful collaboration and planning will allow all levels to experience a shared event (one-school-one-book is a phenomenon in the US) and might even help dispel the myth that picture books are for little people.
For starters, the publishers have given permission for it to be
- presented as a readers theatre
- presented as a story telling
- presented as a puppet show
- translated for multicultural storytimes
So, immediately there are some ideas that will engage the older students particularly if they are charged with creating a presentation for younger students. Each idea has the potential for a host of associated learning opportunities from investigating the best sorts of puppets to use and designing and creating these to learning how to use your voice with no other props to tell a story, that could form the basis of a very productive partnership between TL and teacher.
Other sites have ideas too, but be warned – they take more effort than photocopying a blackline master or template. Shoosh-and-colour is not an option. Share the ideas with your colleagues (they might even spark some original thoughts) and decide how you will work together to make this event more than a ten-minute time filler.
The page from the official site gives suggestions for books with similar themes as well as other titles by Nick Bland so if you are not in a CPT situation, perhaps there’s an idea for a parallel program in the library. During the day, take photos, tweet, post on Facebook , exploit social media to get others involved and afterwards tell your parents what their children did and how much they enjoyed it. Even having students create a bookmark that says
I enjoyed sharing The Wrong Book by Nick Bland with thousands of others during the National Simultaneous Storytime today
is a way of reporting to parents and putting them in the picture and the library in the spotlight.
There’s an app from iTunes; teaching notes; even a Braille version – the only thing there is NOT is an excuse to avoid being involved and seizing the opportunity to provide a leadership role and demonstrate why your school has and needs a teacher librarian.
Be pro-active. Be visible. Be out there. Your job may depend on it.