Book groups

Autumn and winter at the S1/S2 Book Club.

Autumn and winter at the S1/S2 Book Club.

The S1/S2 Book Club has been running for a few months now but in order to keep pupils returning you need to keep the momentum, no easy feat! I thought I would tell others about my experience so far.

Poetry, Halloween and Non-fiction books

Week 8 was all about poetry and Halloween. This year the group focused on a poem, I came across for National Poetry Day called ‘Grampa’s Soup’ by Jackie Kay.  The theme was perfect for a lunchtime group – soup!  The poem was read aloud by various members of the group and pupils had to use a computer to find out what type of soup ‘Grampa’ had made using the list of ingredients given in the poem.  The group quickly found it was about Scotch broth, giving our pupils the chance to read something modern and Scottish.  Hopefully, they learned some new Scots words and learned about the ingredients in this traditional Scottish soup.  The poem was short and gave the group time to plan their Halloween costumes using a various non-fiction books (many belonged to our local public library).

Great fun was had by all and there was a wonderful atmosphere in the library as the group busied and immersed themselves in everything Halloween.

The Scottish Book Trust Awards

The last few weeks the members of this groups have been looking at the books shortlisted for the Scottish Book Trust Awards.  During week 11 we examined the Bookstart category.  Pupils got a chance to discuss their favourite storyline, illustrations and front covers, as a group and chose their favourite books in this category and reading these aloud.

Books included;

Wanted! Ralphy Rabbit, the Book Burglar’ by Emily MacKenzie

Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School’ by Simon Puttock

Never Tickle a Tiger’ by Pamela Butchart

The following week pupils got a chance to explore the books chosen in the 8 – 12 category. We particularly focused on ‘Ravenstorm Island’ by Gillian Philip.  This was the book that the majority of the group wanted to read and each group member read a page aloud.

Shadowing the Scottish Book Trust Awards was something I had ever tried with any of my lunchtime groups.

From this experience I find that shadowing all the books from the awards difficult with a lunchtime group, keeping their interest and ensuring that pupils return every week can be difficult with a lunchtime club. I think in future, I will still focus on the picture book category rather than the whole of the award. All that is left to do now is vote!

Plays

The last few weeks have been all about exploring a new type of genre, new to many and one I had forgotten about. We read and rehearsed the first scene from the play ‘Divided City’ by Theresa Breslin.

A wonderful colleague in the English Department kindly gave up some of her lunchtimes to help guide both myself and the group through this.

Firstly, she got the group to play ‘Murder’, as an opening game to get everyone talking and allowed our pupils to become very animated. This game involves someone being the murderer, the detective and the rest of the group being potential victims.  It all sounds very grim but the activity had quite the opposite effect.  Group members were all buzzing and enthused about this activity.

Once the group had warmed up their acting voices, we focused on recreating the opening scenes from ‘Divided City’.

The week before Christmas was all about recording! This added an extra dimension to ‘Divided City’.   Two of our S5 pupils helped record and direct this production. Great fun and hilarity was had by all, even people outside the group wanted to take part. This really gave the group the acting bug and kept everyone coming back.  What a difference having your colleague and some of our senior pupils involved.

Watch out for more information on our Book Club activities in the New Year.

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Christmas at Caldervale

We have been getting into the Christmas spirit at Caldervale over the last few weeks with a decorate your door competition to raise money for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal, Christmas Concert rehearsals and parties.

The school’s S1-S4 book groups celebrated the end of another successful session by coming together for their annual Christmas party.  The table was set, the crackers and place settings laid and the programme finalised.  The guests invited, including the Head teacher and the English department. After lots of snacks and cakes, the pupils provided entertainment consisting of poetry readings,  ‘Twas the night before Christmas and The night after Christmas, a Christmas quiz and music. Even Santa paid a visit.  Everyone was treated to a book gift from Santa, another little incentive to keep them reading over the holidays!

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