The Best 8 DIY Costumes For Book Week

Book Week has arrived!! This coming week we celebrate books and all they offer. Most schools ask students to dress up as a favourite book character and participate in a book parade.

It is important to remember the main objectives of a book parade before you go off and spend a lot of money on a costume. The parade is an opportunity for children and their teachers to have some fun and get a little creative.

There are many home made costumes that I have seen over the years that are creative, inexpensive and do not require any sewing. Below is a list of 8 that I have complied that you may want to attempt.

1. Paper bag princess

0840474f214be09182a5bca9450dcc45

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paper Bag Princess is a children’s book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko.

The costume requires some brown paper, cut and stuck into a dress shape, a white long sleeve shirt, black tights and a small crown. You could put some face paint on to resemble dirt on her face.

2. Sam I Am

1c0531912f2959530cb2438907757e26

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Eggs and Ham is a best-selling and critically acclaimed children’s book by Dr Seuss, first published on August 12, 1960. Sam I Am is a character in this book.

The costume requires a yellow shirt, dark pants, red hat, cardboard sign that has “Sam I Am” written on it and a cardboard plate with green eggs and ham drawn on or stuck on.

3. Thing 1 and Thing 2

bd178150bb116fb7e359dfe5b050fa40

a5269171c72d309ac1032a2ba156d3c7

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cat in the Hat is a children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr Seuss and first published in 1957. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are characters in this book.

The costume requires a red shirt with “Thing 1” or “Thing 2” written on while material or paper and stuck on. Blue or black pants or skirt with a blue wig.

4. Where’s Wally

4e025a50d99bf4bf25550c15f84dd77d

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s Wally? (known in the United States and Canada as Where’s Waldo?) is a series of children’s books created by the English illustrator Martin Handford. The books consist of a series of detailed double-page spread illustrations depicting dozens or more people doing a variety of amusing things at a given location. Wally is a character in the book that is hiding on each page.

The costume requires a red and white striped shirt, blue pants or skirt, red beanie and thick black glasses.

5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree

e7935b2307733f1ed809523c7d1c31f6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a bestselling children’s book written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert and published by Simon & Simon & Schuster in 1989.

The costume requires brown clothes, green cardboard leaves, brown or red cardboard circles and stick on letters. You can make a cardboard headband to wrap around the child’s head and stick the leaves onto the front part.

6. Heart card

 

 

 

 

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The deck of cards characters are the guardians of the Queen of Hearts in this book.

The costume requires a red long sleeve shirt and pants, two pieces of white cardboard with red hearts painted on them and ribbon to stick the cardboard pieces together over the shoulder of the child.

7. Mr Men or Little Miss Character

bookweek-mr-bump

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Men is a series of 49 children’s books by British author Roger Hargreaves, commencing in 1971. From 1981, an accompanying series of 42 Little Miss books by the same author, but with female characters.

The costume requires the child to wear a matching long sleeve shirt and pants in the same colour as the Mr Men or Little miss character. Using cardboard, the character is drawn and cut out. This is done twice to create a sandwich board.

8. Jack

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and the Beanstalk is an English fairy tale. The earliest known appearance in print is Benjamin Tabart’s version of 1807. Jack is a character in this book trying to get money to buy food for his family.

This costume requires a brown long sleeve shirt and pants. You can make the beanstalk by stuffing newspaper into a pair of stockings. This is then painted green and light green paint added for some detail on the beanstalk. Wrap the stocking around the child and pin it to the clothes by using safety pins. The child could also have 3 golden eggs to carry and have his name attached to his shirt.

I hope some of these ideas have given you some inspiration to get creative for your child’s book week costumes. Involve your child on the decision making and the creating part of the costume. Children love being part of the process. Please remember, it is not about how expensive or extravagant the costume is. Book week is about celebrating all books and exploring all the wonderful characters that we are introduced to through books.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend

 

The Celebration Of Books: Book Week Nominations

Book week is nearly here!! Each year, schools and public libraries across Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.

small BW promo logoThis year Book Week is being celebrated between  Saturday 22nd August - Friday 28th August 2015. Each year the Australian Book Council of Australia chooses a theme that will inspire children and adults to share their love of reading. This year the theme is “Books light up our world”. Book week this year is extra special as it will be celebrating 70 years since it all began.

 

In the lead up to book week, 6 books are nominated for the honourary title of book of the year from the Australian Book Council of Australia in their category. The categories are older readers book of the year, younger readers book of the year, early childhood book of the year, picture book of the year and the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. Books were shortlisted on April the 14th and the winner will be announce on Friday the 21st August at 12pm.

In this blog I will look at one book in each category that you may want to read with your child or children in your classroom.

Category: Nominated for Older Readers Book of the Year

Nona & Me by Claire Atkins

Nona and MeRosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas.

They are also best friends. It doesn’t matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.

Born just five days apart in a remote corner of the Northern Territory, the girls are inseperable, until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they’re in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie has lost interest in the community, preferring to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena, and Selena’s
gorgeous older brother Nick.

When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she be forced to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?

‘A fascinating book, beautifully told, with rich insight into a deeply Australian but little known community.’ – Jackie French

Category: Nominated for Younger Readers Book of the Year

Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks

Two WolvesAn old man tells his grandson that there is a battle raging inside him, inside all of us. A terrible battle between two wolves. One wolf is bad – pride, jealousy, greed. The other wolf is good – kindness, hope, truth. The child asks, ‘Who will win?’ The grandfather answers simply, ‘The one you feed.’

One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver’s front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they’re going on a holiday. But are they?

It doesn’t take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben’s always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop’. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done.

The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?

‘Gripping and unpredictable, with a hero you won’t forget.’ - John Boyne, author of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

Category: Nominated for Early Childhood Book of the Year

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

This is a story about a Pug named Pig who finds it very difficult to share. A small dog is on hand to teach him all about sharing but it is not in the way that you would expect. Aaron Blabey has created many hilarious moments that can be appreciated by young children and adults.

“I defy anyone to read this picture book and not laugh. Hilarious.” - Sydney Morning Herald
“Pig the Pug had us chuckling from the title…(and) the final page had us in stitches. A book to return to often.” - The Weekend Australian

Category: Nominated for Picture Book of the Year

Rivertime by Trace Balla

RivertimeA gentle and beautiful book about slowing down and growing up, set on Australia’s Glenelg River and featuring a ten-year-old boy and his uncle. Trace Balla is often found sketching in nature, riding her bike with her son, dancing, and growing vegies in her garden in central Victoria. She works as an illustrator, community artist, art therapist, animator, and writer of songs and stories.

Category: Nominated for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Mary’s Australia: How Mary Mackillop changed Australia by Pamela Freeman

Mary's AustraliaMary MacKillop changed the course of Australia’s history.

Mary MacKillop watched Australia grow from a collection of small colonies into a nation - and she was proud of the country she had a part in creating. How did Australia change in her lifetime? And how much influence did Mary MacKillop have in shaping Australia?

  • Mary MacKillop is one of the most influential people in Australia’s history.
  • Mary MacKillop is well-known for being Australia’s first and so far only saint.

I hope you have found some inspiration in this blog to start reading one of these quality books with your child or class. Reading is a gift and should be treasured.

Next week I will focus on another 5 books that have also been nominated for the Australian Council Books of the year.

Happy reading everyone.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend

 

What is the “best” way to teach reading to children who are learning English.

Welcome to my next blog about reading with children who are learning English.

Recently I have been involved in some professional learning about reading and what impacts on it. As part of the professional learning, I read a Chapter titled “Building Bridges to text” in a book called “English Learners, Academic literacy and thinking” by Pauline Gibbons. Below is my summary of this text and my own opinion on how to ensure that children who are learning English are able to comprehend the texts that they are reading.

In multicultural nations, like Australia, many children begin school with a very limited understanding about English. These children usually speak another language at home or have been looked after by their grandparents (who do not speak English fluently) while their parents work. These children have not been exposed to the correct structure of spoken English and therefore need a lot of assistance when learning to read English texts.

Not only do they find the concepts about print (how a text works eg front cover, left to right, read left page first) difficult to understand, but their field knowledge is very limited as well. Field knowledge is the understanding about our world and making connections through experience. This is an area that many children struggle with, not just children who have English as a second or even third language. The texts that beginning readers are given cover a variety of topics. The text could be about a circus, playground, airport, another culture, swimming lessons, farm, making bread etc. If children are not familiar with these topics, they will need a lot of assistance to build their field knowledge to enable them to comprehend the text.

Remember the most important goal of learning to read is for a child to understand what they are reading. Reading fluently is important and does relate to comprehension but most of the time parents focus on this at the cost of a child not understanding the text.

Approaches to teaching reading for children learning English

1. Traditional or phonics based approach

This approach focuses on the child learning all their sounds to be able to work out written symbols. An educator would start with individual letters, then simple sight words, then the sounds that are made with two or more letters. After they have gained confidence with this, they would move onto simple sentences that focus on repetition. All early reader texts rely on repetition.

The disadvantage of this approach is that the child is able to make few links to what they already know from their own language. Reading can become a very abstract process for these children as the sounds do not match their first language.

2. Whole language approach

imgres-1This approach focuses on the child learning about the whole text by recognising what type of text it is, predicting what the text is about and using their own knowledge about the subject to bring meaning to the text. Good readers draw on three types of knowledge when reading a text; semanic knowledge (knowledge about the world), Syntactic knowledge (knowledge about the structure of the language) and graphophonic knowledge (letter-sound realtionships). This approach aims to combine all these types of knowledge when trying to read a text.

The disadvantage of this approach is that the child may not be familiar with the texts subject or familiar with the structure of the language that will help them predict what the sentences will be about.

3. Interactive approach

imagesThis approach is the combination of the traditional and the whole language approaches. A child learns about predictive and decoding (working out) skills depending on the type of text being read. What an educator does before reading a text with a child is very important to how successfully a child will be able to read it.

4. Critical approach

researchingThis approach focuses on a child being able to question and analyse a text in which they have been exposed to. They learn that no text is “neutral” as an author always has a particular context and the reader also has their own context. This means that we all see things differently depending on who we are. Words such as discovery, invasion and colonisation all have a particular context that refers to one event.

5. Social and cultural approach

reading 1This approach focuses on the understanding that reading is a cultural and social practice. Each society places a different value on it. Some children come from cultures that value oral story telling whereas some value  picture books or factual texts or religious texts such as the bible. This approach guides the educator in selecting particular texts for a child and the nature of the classroom discussion around reading.

Not one approach has all the answers. As educators and parents we need to use all of these approaches at different times depending on the needs of the child. I hope this has given you insight into the many factors that influence the skill of learning to read, especially for a child who is learning English.

Please share this article with all your staff and parents to ensure we all have access to information that will help our children reach their potential.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend

 

How to increase your child’s achievement through a “growth mindset”

How do we motivate a child to work hard and achieve?  Is there a secret? How does one teach a child about motivation?

My blog this week explores the idea of children’s success related to their motivation intent. How to motivate a child is a question that many parents and educators of children ask everyday.

Everything we say and do sends a message to children. Some of these messages will increase a child’s level of motivation, whilst others will be the complete opposite.

In a survey conducted by the Canadian Education Association, over 80% of parents indicated that they “thought it was necessary to praise children’s intelligence to give them confidence in their abilities and motivate them to succeed.”(Boosting achievement with messages that motivate by Carol S Dweck) Unfortunately recent research indicates that this theory is wrong!

The research suggests that the most resilient and motivated children are the ones that believe that intelligence is not fixed (born with it mentality) rather it is something that can be developed through effort and learning. This research really emphasises the point that the key to achievement is what a child believes about intelligence.

The fixed mindset

A child with a fixed mindset will limit his or her chances to achieve. They want to look “smart” at all costs and do not like to undertake a task that may provide some challenges for them. Children with a fixed mindset tend to follow three rules:

1. Don’t make mistakes

mistakesA child with a fixed mindset believes that making mistakes shows a lack of ability. They would believe that the mistake indicates that they are not good at that particular area and would try to avoid it in the future.

2. Don’t work hard

imgres-3A child with a fixed mindset believes that intelligent people should not have to work hard. If you work hard, it means that you have low intelligence and indicates a limited ability. The idea that high effort equals low ability is one of the worst beliefs fixed mindset children have. (Boosting achievement with messages that motivate by Carol S Dweck)

3. If you make mistakes, don’t try and repair them

imgres-4A child with a fixed mindset is only interested in whether an answer is right or wrong. If they get an answer wrong, they tend to not care about what the correct answer was. They do not want to correct their errors and understand the concept for future learning.

The growth mindset

A child with a growth mindset is focused on the learning instead of the grades. Their main aim is to build on previous understanding and push themselves to the next level. Although they are not fixed on achievement, achievement usually goes hand in hand with this mindset. Children with a growth mindset tend to follow three rules:

1. Take on challenges

A child with a growth mindset often accepts many challenges that they could fail at. They want to stretch their abilities and learn new things.

 

2. Work hard

A child with a growth mindset believes that the harder you work at something, the better you will be at it. They do not believe that you are born with high intelligence or low intelligence but you can work hard and get success.

3. Confront your mistakes and correct them

A child with a growth mindset is very eager to remedy their mistakes and learn from them. They want to focus on their mistake and get feedback to show them where they went wrong.

Let us return to the initial questions I posed at the beginning of the article. How do we get our children to be motivated and work hard in order to achieve? The new question that we should ask ourselves is “How do we get our children to have a growth mindset and not a fixed one?

As parents and educators we need to focus on the process or journey that the child undertakes instead of the finished product. We can give praise to a child in regards to their persistence, strategies used, their change of thinking due to new learning, their questioning, critical thinking and creative ideas.

We can celebrate how a child solved a problem or how they undertook a difficult challenge. This is what will motivate a child to have a growth mindset. They need to see us as the parents and educators going through this process as well and observe how we deal with difficult and frustrating setbacks within a task.

It is great to praise a child’s finished task (a child loves this intellegence praise) however, praising a child’s process which could be their effort, concentration, choices and persistence is more powerful to help a child achieve, have confidence and be a motivated learner.

I would like to thank a good friend and work colleague, Leanne for alerting me to this new research. This blog is dedicated to you.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend