Bonding through books: the Grade 3 experience

| March 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

By Debbie Nicoll

I watched the young and impressionable faces of my Grade 3 class as the Grade 8 class entered. These visitors must have seemed taller than the average tree!

As a class, we had spent the year enjoying a weekly book club session, investigating authors, titles, non-fiction, preferences and personal choices. We had chatted about main ideas, characters and keywords. When Sheila Pasio came to speak to me about linking with her Grade 8 English class, we were all excited.

For some, just the thought of going off quietly to sit under a tree to ‘chat’ with an older student was terrifying, but the pupils were soon scattered all over the campus. The interaction taking place, invaluable. The wonder and awe shining in the little eyes, obvious. The caring and gentle manner in which the interviewer handled each question, remarkable.

Over the next few weeks, the constant question asked – in eager anticipation of their own life’s story, becoming the ‘main character’ in a printed and meaningful text – was: “When are our books going to be ready?” Then, eventually, seeing the joy and wonderment on the faces of a class of nineyear- olds as they paged through books bound, stapled, tied and taped, with handpainted, printed and laminated covers, was truly rewarding. Our class decided that a handwritten thank you letter was in order.

So we began our second part of the project: hand-drawing illustrations and finding out how to spell the authors’ names correctly. Placing these special books on display allowed others to benefit from this project, but those who benefited most were the Grade 3 and Grade 8 students – who through their interaction with each other and with literature had learned, as Walt Disney said: “There’s more treasure in books than all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” 

Category: Autumn 2013

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