Category Archives: readilearn

Make Time for families in National Simultaneous Storytime 2022 – #readilearn

Next week, on Wednesday 25 May at 11:00am AEST, we will be celebrating the 22nd National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). Are you ready?

The event

National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual event organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) with the aim of promoting the value of reading and literacy.

Each year an Australian picture book is chosen to be read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the nations on either side of the Tasman Sea. Selected books explore age-appropriate themes and address key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.

It is free to register for the event. If you do, on Monday 23 May you will receive various free downloadable material, including a PDF of the book, to support your own event. You can register right up until the event begins. There are also many other free teaching resources available on the website, including resources from Learn From Play, Clever Patch, and Clever Bean.

The book

The book selected for this year’s simultaneous story time is Family Tree written by Josh Pyke, illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh and published by Scholastic Australia. Family Tree is a celebration of family, community and the circle of life. It begins with the planting of a seed and is told from the tree’s point of view. As the tree grows, so does the family.

‘It started with a seed,

and that seed was me.

And, over time, laughter filled my garden…

A heartfelt celebration of family, community and the seasons of life, to cherish and to share.’

Visit Scholastic Australia’s website to purchase your copy of the book.

To help build your enthusiasm, here is a video of Josh talking about his book Family Tree.

I hope you and your children enjoy this exciting event. I’d love to know how you celebrate. I’ll be joining in, reading along with my own copy or perhaps joining in with the event organised at my local library. There’s so much fun to be had in books and libraries.

What I like about Family Tree

I love the way this book is told from the point of view of the tree, the way it notices changes in the family and the community through the

Continue reading: Make Time for families in National Simultaneous Storytime 2022 – readilearn

Come on a joyful adventure with Joy’s Journey by Jacinta Farragher – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to review a beautiful new picture book Joy’s Journey, written by Jacinta Farragher, illustrated by Manka Kasha and published by Little Steps Publishing. This post is part of a Books on Tour promotion.

About author Jacinta Farragher

While living in Thailand, Jacinta Farragher found that snippets of quirky verse popped into her brain every time she had a massage. Naturally, she wanted to explore this further and started having massages twice a week. Now she’s a children’s picture book author! Jacinta is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Creative Kids Tales, and the Australian Society of Authors. She dedicates her time to writing and having massages. Jacinta’s passion is writing fun picture books with messages that uplift and empower. She plans to spend the next few decades writing books that will inspire children and adults alike for generations to come. Jacinta’s debut picture book, Joy’s Journey, is an adventurous quest story about realising the joy is in the journey. This will soon be followed by a second book, Joy’s Way – a fun story about doing things your own way.

About Joy’s Journey

She travels over land and sea, to see what she can see. She becomes a bold adventurer, to be what she can be… Join Joy as she travels through four seasons, meets friends, and ultimately discovers that the joy is in the journey, and the most precious thing you can find is yourself!

What I like about Joy’s Journey

Joy’s Journey is a delightful tale from start to finish. For me with my own red-haired family, a redheaded freckle-faced protagonist has extra appeal, 😉 but of course there’s far more in the book to delight than that.

The story begins with Joy setting off to find a paradise where lives a teacher ‘strong and kind and wise’ and where, she’s heard, all her wishes will come true. She travels across the seas to different lands, exploring every terrain including a desert island, a cave, mountains and valleys. She meets many new friends and even finds a chest full of treasure.

Continue reading: Come on a joyful adventure with Joy’s Journey by Jacinta Farragher – readilearn

The Precious Plum ― an original fairytale by Jennifer Horn – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jennifer Horn, author and illustrator of a delightfully nostalgic but contemporary fairytale The Precious Plum.

About Author-Illustrator Jennifer Horn

Jennifer Horn is a Brisbane-based freelance illustrator and budding children’s writer. Her debut picture book “The Precious Plum” was released in October 2021 amongst some very musical live book launches. She illustrated the cover of Anthology Angels’ children’s fundraising anthology, Once Upon a Whoops!: Fractured Fairytales and Ridiculous Rhymes (2021). Her short stories have appeared in each of Anthology Angels’ annual publications since 2018: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (2018), Spooktacular Stories (2019) and Tell ‘Em They’re Dreaming (2020). Her first Young Adult short story, Faulty Connection, was published in Rhiza Edge’s dystopian and sci-fi anthology, Crossed Spaces earlier this year. She was awarded a Highly Commended for her submission of middle grade illustrations at the 2020 CYA Conference.

With a background in Architecture, Jen draws on her love of stories and adventure to create whimsical illustrations in a Quentin-Blake-inspired squiggle style. She enjoys reading books over local community station Reading Radio, and playing keys, including the piano accordion.  She has also been part of Art Department teams on several Brisbane-based films, including Romance on the Menu on Netflix and The Umbrella on Amazon Prime.

About The Precious Plum

When a baker of magical goods for her village attempts to help her good friend the Gentleman, she finds an important ingredient goes missing in the process.

A tale for all who have unwittingly left a piece of themselves behind, The Precious Plum is a whimsical fairytale about finding that sometimes the things we are looking for are right where we left them.

What I like about The Precious Plum

The Precious Plum is a beautiful fable about love and kindness that will appeal to adults as well as to children, or to children as well as to adults.

I have read this book a number of times, and each time, I have been left with a sense of peace and contentment. It makes me want to pause and breathe in all of nature’s beauty, all the joys of the world. It is like a brief interlude stopping to smell the roses but through the words of a book.

Continue reading: The Precious Plum ― an original fairytale by Jennifer Horn – readilearn

Let’s Get Ready, Mama! with Sharon Giltrow and Arielle Li – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to review a beautiful new picture book Get Ready, Mama! written by Sharon Giltrow, illustrated by Arielle Li and published by EK Books. This post is part of a Books on Tour promotion.

About author Sharon Giltrow

Sharon Giltrow is an Authorcator, an Author Educator, based in Western Australia. She writes humorous picture books and middle grade speculative fiction. Her humorous debut picture book Bedtime Daddy, released in May 2020, is a companion book to this new release Get Ready, Mama!

Sharon has worked with children for all of her career, formerly as a teacher of children who are hearing impaired and Deaf-Blind, and now as an Early Childhood Educator and Teacher Education Support working with Young Children with Developmental Language Disorder.

Sharon is an enthusiastic and inspirational speaker with a passion for developing children’s oral, visual, and written literacy. She has experience presenting to children from zero- to ten-year-olds. Through Sharon’s author talks students, inspired by a real-life author, will discover the joy of literacy and unlock their hidden creativity.

Find out more about Sharon Giltrow on her website.

About Get Ready, Mama!

Even the most reluctant risers will find the fun in the morning routine with this lively role-reversal story about a mama who just doesn’t want to get ready!

Getting ready in the morning is a mission for many families with young children, but this inventive, tongue-in-cheek story provides a fun way of speeding things along. Full of heart and humour, Get Ready, Mama! is for anyone who has heard enough of “5 more minutes”.

What I like about Get Ready, Mama!

Get Ready, Mama! is a fun role-reversal picture book in which an enthusiastic child attempts to motive a reluctant mother to get up and going in the morning. What a hilariously non-threatening way to discuss those very same avoidance tactics used by many children, and even more, a fun way for parents to play-act reluctance in order to motivate their own children to take responsibility for getting up and getting ready in the mornings.

Any parent who has ever had to coax a child to get ready in the morning, and I think that’s probably most of us, will identify with Mum’s

Continue reading: Let’s Get Ready, Mama! with Sharon Giltrow and Arielle Li – readilearn

#Don’t Choose Extinction — International Mother Earth Day 2022 – #readilearn

The United Nations International Mother Earth Day 2022 is today 22 April.

The day is a call to action. Mother Earth herself is calling us to action because nature is suffering.

While I’m sure you don’t need any reminders, the signs of that suffering include:

  • pollution
  • extreme heat
  • fires
  • floods
  • drought
  • storms
  • the pandemic
  • vulnerability and extinction of fauna and flora

Humans contribute to the suffering through pollution, deforestation and changes in land-use.

We are all called to take individual, as well as collective, action. As stated on the website:

‘The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.’

Frankie has an urgent message for all of us.

He tells us there are no excuses and lists 19 of those most often expressed. Perhaps you’ve heard some of them. He tells us how to end the excuses with information and action.

“I’m already doing as much as I can.”

“We’ll lose too many jobs if we phase out fossil fuels.”

“I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference.”

“We need fossil fuels for our economy.”

“I won’t see the effects of climate change in my lifetime.”

Continue reading: #Don’t Choose Extinction — International Mother Earth 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

Writing Poetry with Children – #readilearn

With this month being National Poetry Month in the US and 17 April being International Haiku Day,  I thought it was timely to share some of our poetry resources. Here in Australia, we celebrate poetry month in August, but I don’t think we need wait until then. We can celebrate again in August or make every month poetry month. No month should go by without enjoying some poetry anyway.

Poetry is a great introduction to the rhythms and sounds of our language. Children are introduced to it from a young age through nursery rhymes and picture books. Some of children’s favourite picture books are those that read like poems with rhythm, rhyme and repetition. The books of Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson come immediately to mind. But, of course, there are many others too.

When they enter school, children love listening to poetry and experimenting with writing poems of their own. Here at readilearn we have some resources to help you help them get started on their poetry writing journey. All poetry resources are found in their own section of the literacy collection.

Writing poetry

Writing Haiku with Children — This collection includes five haiku poems for reading and five stimulus photos for writing. It can be used to introduce children to the structure of haiku poetry and to encourage them to write haiku poems of their own. The resource includes information about the structure of haiku poetry as well as teaching suggestions.

If You Were an Animal — poem and teaching notes — The teacher notes accompanying this poem provide suggestions for both English and Science.

English teaching suggestions include:

  • Rhyming words
  • Questions and statements
  • Opposites
  • Writing
  • Recitation and performance

Science teaching suggestions include:

  • Features of living things
  • Needs of living things
  • Habitats of living things

Write your own “I love” poem — This resource encourages children to write their own poems by innovating on the traditional camping song ‘I love the Mountains’. Great for even beginning writers.

Continue reading: Writing Poetry with Children – #readilearn

Learning about Sustainability by Reducing Food Waste – #readilearn

This post is a little different from my usual post in that I am not sharing teaching resources for the first three years of school. Instead, I am sharing information about a food rescue organisation and a sustainability program for Years 5 and 6. While I don’t usually share resources for older classes, I thought this may be useful information to have and to share with your colleagues who teach upper primary classes.

OzHarvest

OzHarvest is an Australian food rescue organisation founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn. I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t aware of it until I read Kahn’s book A Repurposed Life in 2020 and was blown away by her dedication to helping feed people in need by saving surplus food from going to landfill. (A Repurposed Life is a fascinating and inspiring memoir, and I am happy to recommend it.)

After reading her book, I began noticing bins for accepting donations of food in the local shopping centres. I was surprised that I’d never seen them before and wondered how many times I’d walked past them, oblivious.

A quote from the website explains the OzHarvest mission:

“We are committed to halving food waste by 2030, inspiring and influencing others to do the same, and transforming lives through education.”

You can read more about the OzHarvest story and Ronni Kahn on the website here.

This video gives a very brief introduction to Ronni.

Feast

What I really wanted to share with you, though, is the OzHarvest education program called Feast with the goal of ‘Inspiring kids to eat healthy, waste less and be change-makers in their local community.’

As I said earlier, the program is for Years 5 and 6. According to the website, it is a STEM project-based learning program that runs for 7-10 weeks. The program focuses on food and fibre and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability.

This video gives a quick introduction to the program.

Continue reading: Learning about Sustainability by Reducing Food Waste – 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

What the world needs now — friendship skills – #readilearn

Here in Australia, today 18 March is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.  Next Monday 21 March sees another three events, all celebrating friendship: Harmony Day , the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and World Down Syndrome Day.

While none of these events have ‘friendship’ in their title, that to me is what it all comes down to: acceptance, kindness and friendship. It is sad to see how difficult it can be to attain on a personal, local, national and international level. We must all do what we can to make the world a happier place through inclusion and respect.

Here at readilearn, friendship skills have always been a focus. We have over twenty resources to support the teaching of friendship skills. They can all be found under the heading ‘Friendship Skills’ in the resources for Character Development.

These are just a few of the readilearn friendship skills lessons and resources:

Busy Bees ABC of friendship is an alphabet of words that can be used to stimulate discussion about what a friend is and what friends do.Each letter has a word and accompanying explanatory statement on its own chart. The entire alphabet is also available on one printable chart. It could be used for a bingo-type card on which children colour the box for each letter as they do something appropriate to the word.

Be friends not bullies provides suggestions for teaching children friendship skills. It teaches them to identify the differences between friendly and unfriendly behaviour, to recognise bullying and to provide strategies for dealing with bullying that they may encounter personally or as an onlooker.

The resource includes:

  • a story stimulus with suggestions for presentation and discussion
  • follow up activities
  • games to play
  • a poster to print

Topics for discussion include:

Continue reading: What the world needs now — friendship skills – Readilearn