Category Archives: Celebrations

Let’s celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day 2022 – #readilearn

Next Wednesday 7 September is Indigenous Literacy Day.

Indigenous Literacy Day is a free national event Celebrating Stories, Cultures and Languages.

This year’s digital story will premiere at 10.30 am AEST from The Sydney Opera House.

According to the website, Celebrating Stories, Cultures and Languages is a magical story led by children from remote Milikapiti and Jilkminggan in the Northern Territory. In a 20-minute video, the children are joined by music icon Jessica Mauboy and dynamic performer Gregg Dreise.

(Gregg is also an author and illustrator and I introduced him to you in an interview in 2017. Earlier this year, I included some of his books in a post for National Reconciliation Week.)

Here’s Jessica Mauboy inviting you to join in celebrating Indigenous Literacy Day.

Registrations for the event have been open since 9 August. Have you registered yet? I have. You can book here. If you can’t watch the scheduled event, the story will be available to watch online anytime that suits you.

This video tells of some of the wonderful work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

The website explains that 2022 is the first year of UNESCO’s Decade of Indigenous Languages. It will be interesting to see the extent to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages can be revitalised and preserved during the next ten years due to the efforts of organisations such as the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and its celebration of Indigenous Literacy Day.

To find out more about the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Indigenous Literacy Day and how you can support this great work, please visit their website: Indigenous Literacy Foundation https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/.

A free booklet of teaching resources can be downloaded here.

Continue reading: Let’s celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day 2022 – Readilearn

readilearn is Six Years Old Today! – #readilearn

Today, Wednesday 24 August 2022 is readilearn’s sixth birthday. Thank you for joining our journey.

To celebrate this milestone, I have made a new birthday-themed interactive resource Make Words from the Word ‘Birthday‘.

This resource is designed for use with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard. Children use the letters of ‘birthday’ to see how many smaller words they can make. Each letter can be used only once in each word.

Children drag the letters to form new words, then type the words into the text box. The page of words can be printed if you wish to keep a record. Progress can also be saved for another lesson if you still have more words to find when the lesson is over. A printable PDF activity sheet for individuals or groups of children to use is also included.

As a birthday gift from readilearn to you, this resource is available free until 14 September.

It is just one of the birthday-themed resources in the collection. Others include:

Happy Birthday — an interactive resource to personalise I used it to make readilearn’s sixth birthday card. The card can be personalised and printed for children on their birthdays.

Continue reading: readilearn is Six Years Old Today! – readilearn

Chocolate Anyone? – #readilearn

Next Thursday 7 July is World Chocolate Day. If you ever needed an excuse to indulge in a little chocolate, this could be it. If you follow the link, you will find out some fun facts about the history of chocolate that begins more than 2 000 years ago.

If only we were allowed a little chocolate in the classroom, there are so many wonderful learning opportunities it could provide, for example:

Counting — how many chocolates all together?

Subtraction — how many left if I eat x?

Sharing (children can make equal shares, teachers can have the remainders 😉)

Multiplication — blocks of chocolate are great for arrays (columns and rows of)

Data — surveys who likes/does not like chocolate, what is the class’s favourite chocolate?

Measurement — how many chocolate bars tall are you? how many blocks balance one chocolate bar?

Chemical science — mixing, adding and removing heat, how chocolate is made, following recipes to make chocolate cake and chocolate crackles (just for starters).

Biological science — the cacao plant, where it grows, how it grows, and what it needs.

Of course, while all of these are possible, my suggestions are a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, we do have some absolutely acceptable ideas for incorporating chocolate into your program on World Chocolate Day.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Michael Rosen. Going on a Bear Hunt is probably one of his better known books, but he is a fabulous poet and storyteller, and his website is rich with material for teachers and children. If you’ve never checked it out, I suggest you do.

On of my favourite stories, that children really love too, is Chocolate Cake. I wrote about it in the post Storytelling with author Michael Rosen.

It’s really fun, so I’ll share it again here.

Source: Chocolate Anyone? – readilearn

Let’s Celebrate Queensland Day 2022 – #readilearn

Next Monday 6 June is Queensland Day, and, since I am a Queenslander, I thought I’d share a little about my home state, including Queensland authors and illustrators I have interviewed over the years.

12 Facts about Queensland

  1. Queensland is in north-eastern Australia. It is the second-largest state by area (after Western Australia) and the third-largest in population (after New South Wales and Victoria).
Image courtesy of Hidesy’s Clipart https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Hidesys-Clipart

2. Queensland is bordered by New South Wales, Northern Territory and South Australia. The Pacific Ocean is along its eastern coastline.

3. The most northern part of Australia, Cape York, is in Queensland. Though I am told it is very beautiful and is a popular camping and four-wheel drive destination, I’ve never been there. (I’m not a camper or a four-wheel driver.)

4. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef, is located along Queensland’s coastline.

5. The world’s three largest sand islands, Fraser, Bribie and Stradbroke, are also located on Queensland’s coast.

6. The capital of Queensland, Brisbane (where I live), is located in the south-east corner of the state.

7. Queensland Day celebrates the day in 1859 that Queensland separated from New South Wales to become an independent colony.

8. Queensland’s state fauna emblem is the koala. The koala is a marsupial (mammal with a pouch) that is native only to Australia and lives mainly along the east and south coasts.

Image used courtesy of The Painted Crow https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Australian-Plants-Clip-Art-Emblems-4686986

9. Queensland’s state floral emblem is the Cooktown Orchid. It is native to northern Queensland and was named after a town there.

10. Queensland’s state bird emblem is the brolga, a tall bird which is noted for its graceful mating dance.

11. Queensland’s state gem is the sapphire, and the aquatic symbol is the anemone fish from the Great Barrier Reef.

12. Anyone in Australia who follows sport, probably doesn’t need to be told that our state colour is maroon.

Continue reading: Let’s Celebrate Queensland Day 2022 – readilearn

Happy Easter 2022 – #readilearn

I take this opportunity of wishing you all a very happy and safe Easter long weekend however you enjoy it.

In this video, I read one of our stories called Easter Delivery which is about Bilby twins Benny and Belinda who are excited to be old enough to make their first Easter delivery on their own. Before they are allowed to go out, they must prove to Mother and Father Bilby that they are capable of following instructions and delivering just the right number of Easter eggs for each family.

Continue reading: Happy Easter 2022 – readilearn

Easter lessons and activities for the first 3 years of school – #readilearn

Easter is almost upon us. It has snuck up on me this year and I’m a bit late sharing our Easter resources since most of you will be on holidays at the end of next week. However, there is still one week before the holidays, so you may still have time to use some of these lessons and activities. Enjoy!

All our Easter resources can be found in the Cultural Studies collection here. They include:

Interactive lessons ready to teach on the interactive whiteboard

Easter Delivery — a story that gives children practice in finding combinations of numbers to ten.

The Bilby twins, Benny and Belinda, are excited to be making their first deliveries for Easter. Before they do, they must prove to Dad that they are capable of leaving the correct number of eggs for each friend’s family. Children help Benny and Belinda by working out what combinations of eggs could be delivered to the families.

Dragona’s Lost Egg — a story that encourages the development of logical thinking and problem solving.

Dragona has lost her egg and turns to her friend Artie, owner of a Lost and Found store, for help. Artie is confident of helping her as he has many eggs on his shelves. He asks Dragona to describe features of her egg, including size, shape, pattern, and colour.  He uses a process of elimination to identify which egg might be Dragona’s. Children join in the process by choosing eggs with the characteristic described.

Continue reading: Easter lessons and activities for the first 3 years of school – #readilearn

For the Love of Books – #readilearn

Next Monday 14 February is a day with much to celebrate. As well as Valentine’s Day, it’s Library Lovers’ Day and International Book Giving Day.

It’s not difficult for me to talk about love and books in the same sentence as I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Although my reading habits have changed over the years, I have always been an avid reader and was a dedicated borrower of books from the library as I was growing up.

As an adult, I tend/ed to purchase rather than borrow for my own reading and could never pass a book shop without purchasing something for me, a family member or friend, and a picture book or three for my classroom collection. Books borrowed from the school library filled out the classroom library.

A birthday, Christmas or other occasion never passed without giving and receiving books. So, being able to combine the celebration of love, books and an appreciation for libraries is a treat. Nothing could be easier. Simply take someone you love to the library and gift them a book.

About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day probably needs no introduction. In many parts of the world, it is a day for celebrating love and romance. Gifts of chocolates, flowers and verses in cards are often given.

Of course, in the classroom, our discussions aren’t about romantic love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about those important people in our lives whom we do love.

Children can write their own “I love” poem by innovating on the traditional camping song I love the mountains.

Continue reading: For the Love of Books – readilearn

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – #readilearn

Today, Friday 28 January 2022, the last Friday in January, is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD), a day for celebrating diversity in children’s books. I am pleased to be a MCBD reviewer for the fourth time this year; and was delighted to receive a copy of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs from author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher to review.

About Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

From the website:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is an award-winning picture book with a simple but powerful message: love lasts forever.

Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. Kids love finding the Xs, Os and hearts hidden in the illustrations.

The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, parent deployment, foster care, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love.

Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs has received glowing testimonials from parents, pre-schools, Child Life specialists, librarians, social workers, teachers, hospice caregivers…and most importantly, kids.

Gold medal winner of the International Publishers Association Awards and a featured title in the LeVar Burton Kids Skybrary app.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was selected as a Child’s Grief Awareness Day book-of-the-month, and also featured two years in a row for Children’s Multicultural Book Day.

Hugs by moon, kisses by sun, I’ll always love you, Little One.

From author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a lyrical picture book created to reassure children they are always connected to the ones they love. We’re so grateful that the book is fulfilling its purpose and being used by families, schools, and organizations around the country as a soothing bedtime story and also a powerful resource to help children coping with challenges such as divorce, grief, foster care, immigration separation, deployed parents, incarcerated parents, and more.

Teachers and parents can find free downloadable activities to go with our books on our website at https://www.innerflowerchild.com/collections/activities.

What I like about Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

I was immediately captivated by the book’s delightful title which gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling and I knew this book was going to be special. I wasn’t disappointed. The combination of Bernardo’s lyrical rhyming text with the warmth of Fletcher’s colourful yet soothing illustrations makes Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs a very satisfying book to read aloud to and with young children.

From cover to cover, and on all the pages between, there are soothing messages in both words and images to reassure a young one that they are always loved.

The text opens with the words ‘No matter how far apart we are, I’ll always find ways to tell you I love you.’

Continue reading: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – readilearn

Wishing you a Happy 2022 New Year – #readilearn

Dear readers and supporters,

I thank you for your support throughout 2021 and wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2022.

While Covid still pulled more strings on our lives than we had expected at the end of 2020, I hope that you have been able to achieve at least some of your goals and ambitions in 2021.

Happy 5th Birthday, readilearn!

In August of this year, we celebrated readilearn’s 5th birthday. It’s an achievement of which I’m proud. Five years seemed such a long time in the future when I began. Now, looking back, it’s gone so fast. I have continued to post a weekly article on the blog, publish a newsletter each month, and upload new resources throughout the year so that the collection now numbers over 500. I hope you have had the opportunity to use many of them with your children.

New Books by Norah Colvin at Library For All

In addition to the work for readilearn, I had twelve more stories added to the Library For All collection. You can read about them here.

I also wrote three phonic workbooks for Pascal Press which should be available for purchase early in the new year. Look out for the Targeting Phonics series.

And I continue to write manuscripts for picture books hoping that one day I will see a picture book with my name on the spine on the shelves of book stores and libraries. It’s been a goal since my childhood. One day …

Goals help us move forward. Without goals and without hope, life may stagnate and become dull. I hope it never does for you.

As we move into another new year, I share with you two quotes about hope that inspire me:

Continue reading: Wishing you a Happy 2022 New Year – readilearn

Happy Christmas 2021 from readilearn – #readilearn

I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season. May the magic of Christmas brighten your days and fill your heart and home with joy — now and always.

For some light Christmas entertainment for the children, Norah reads Who’s Hiding at Christmas?

Continue reading: Happy Christmas 2021 from readilearn – readilearn