Category Archives: imagination

Getting in the Christmas spirit!


With our school year finishing in 1 1/2 weeks, we have started to put out Christmas books for the kids to borrow. So I thought I would see what I could find in terms of Christmas resources to share.

If I end up having enough time, I put on ‘The Polar Express’ movie for our last library lesson (or 2). I just love the story, even though it is set when there is snow and cold, the opposite of here…although it has been a bit cold lately! Typical Melbourne weather!

This is my favorite scene.


Plus I love ‘How the The Grinch Stole Christmas’ cartoon version, as the Jim Carrey one is PG, which we can’t show without parental permission. And it gives you a chance to highlight Dr Seuss books, always a winner.


Here are a couple of Christmas theme short videos..

one about how pleasurable it is to give gifts to others (rather than focus on me, me, me, which Christmas can be for children)

And this most amazing one – The Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky played on the top of glasses!

I have decided to do 1 more post this year and then have a break until late January 2015, when I resume back at work.



Dandelion Fire – 2nd book in 100 Cupboards series by ND Wilson


Dandelion Fire (100 Cupboards, #2)Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry York's life threatening adventures continue from his bedroom with the 100 doors that lead to different lands. He really doesn't want to go back to his 'parents' particularly now he knows they are not his real parents. But it seems there is no choice, unless he goes through one of the doors....and he wants to know where he has come from, who his family are. Following that trail leads him into all sorts of trouble, and cousin Henrietta goes off as well, leaving her dad behind to work out what to do and how to find these 2 lost children.

View all my reviews

New videos from The Kid Should See This – cool videos for curious minds of all ages


This is a great site to subscribe to, as every week you get sent a selection of the week’s most shared videos. But you can also go to the site and search for particular topics you are after.

Here are some gems, I reckon…..







Article – Why Great Educators Need to be Great Storytellers


Came across this on the weekend…fits very nicely with my role as a teacher/librarian, where story telling is core of what I do and also, for any teachers, a reminder that storytelling is a great way to engage our students.

From the article……

Why is storytelling a great teaching method? Incorporating storytelling into teaching — either by using stories and anecdotes to support facts, or by finding ways to work entire topics into a narrative — is a great way to engage with students. Because of this, many educators intuitively incorporate elements of storytelling into their day to day teaching.

Check out the full article at Why Great Educators Need to be Great Storytellers

How creative and wow is this street art?


Was sent this ppt by one of the art teachers at school and wanted to share it. How could you use it in your classroom? Same way as the Worth 1000 images – as stimulus for discussion, writing even persuasive writing, looking at the detail – ‘reading’ the image, working out how and with what it was made, where has the idea come from? – symbols of peace (dove), don’t enter road sign….

piano steps

snow white and apple symbol

leg sticking out of wall

friendly tree

Street art

My first go at iMovie


As part of being an Apple Seed at school (people who get extra training to help others on staff use iPads ), we are required to run some pd sessions for staff, which is fair enough. The pd I am going to help run , with my colleague Natasha, will be about iMovie, so I thought I had better get on and have a try myself, as I have always asked my students to use it and just watched.

It has taken me a few hours, to search for the right images and then work out how to put an iMovie together, but here is my first attempt. I really enjoyed creating it and by using a pre-existing template, didn’t have to make very many decisions about layout or design – it’s done for you.

So a good way to start.

If you would like to watch it, you need a password, which is jb130563.


Book trailers – a great way to hook readers into books


Book trailers – showing and creating your own, or letting your students make them is a succinct way of letting readers know what the featured book is about and why they should read it. There are many great and some not-so great examples of book trailers on YouTube. There are even children’s book publishers that have entire channels on YouTube devoted to book trailers of their books.

A very popular series at school and this trailer gives the flavour of the series. But usually whne I am creating book trailers with students, we work out that about 1 minute is the optimal length. At over 2 minutes, this one is a bit long.

This is one of the best book trailers that I have seen. It captures the atmosphere of tension and horror of this book – really gets you in!!!

This trailer’s narration, image and soundtrack combination makes it just like a movie trailer.

Picture books are ironically quite tricky to make trailers for, as the simpler the storyline, the more difficult it is to distill its essence. In this book trailer, they have played with the plot from the book. In the book, the reader is looking for the green sheep. In the trailer, the green sheep is looking for the books’ author, Mem Fox.

Creating book trailers with students is another thing altogether. When I have got a class involved in this in the past, the first thing you do is watch lots of book trailers and create your own rubric as to what makes a good book trailer – one that ‘hooks’ you in, is the way we explain it. Is it the images, the soundtrack, voices, colours, speed of transition from one image to another, choice of image that makes the biggest impact. Why? is it different for different people? Then students start creating by drawing up a storyboard so they think through their trailer before they start making it. This is particularly important when you are working in a team – there must be a shared vision, otherwise there will be no end product. Then they can begin the process. It is interesting to see all the many ways that a ‘book hook’ can be created – some are fantastic, others pretty ordinary. But the process is an important part and going through the steps leads you closer to making your own book trailer.

National Simultaneous Storytime – May 21, 2014


Here in Australia, the Australian Library and Information Association organizes NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME, which involves participating school, public, early childhood centres and playgroups all reading the same book at the same time on May 21st. Last year, it was the hilarious book ‘The Wrong Book’ by Nick Bland. This year it is the ‘very funny also’ book ‘Too Many Elephants’ by Ursula Duborsarksy. She is a bit of a crazy lady and I came across this interview with her talking about the book. Gives you an incite into an important Australian author.