Monday, May 14, 2012

On feeling good. . .

The other day I posted this quote on the PageTurners face book page;
My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. 
― A.A. Milne

And afterward I was thinking about it, and it reminded me of something I used to do with my  literacy students at the end of the semester — list one thing they could do now that they couldn't do before.

We used to make the list into a poster, and every time I saw it, I'd smile.
It said things like:

 I can spell Wednesday. (And every time I think of this one I grin, remembering the rant this student had made about stupid spelling!)
I can fill out the bank form by myself.
I read a book on my own.
I can work out some big words without asking.
I can read my son his favorite story.
I can leave a note for my daughter. And she can read it. (That's two things)

I wish now I'd kept those posters. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Handful of Sand

Anne here, talking today about another of our series #5 Aussie topic books, A Handful of Sand. It's about indigenous land rights — how the Gurindji people got their traditional land back.

As the back blurb says: It started as a struggle for pay and turned into a struggle for land rights. It took nine long years but finally the Gurindji got their land back. Read how they did it.

The book was written by Chris Malakar and, as always, illustrated by Moira Hanrahan. I have to say, I think Moira's drawings are getting better and better and this book contains some great examples.

Here's a drawing of the Gurindji stockmen mustering cattle. It was hard, dusty work and they got terrible pay for it.

The book is also one of our new pale green cover readers — it's longer than most of our books, but still has the same limited word count as the Green level 4 books — 300 unique words. (For an explanation of how we arrive at our levels, go here)

The Gurindji walk-off was a turning point in Australian indigenous history. If you want to read more about it, there's some information here.

There's a very moving you-tube here that gives you a brief look at some of the main events and some of the people involved.

There's a brilliant song here about it by Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly.

And if you'd like to hear the book read aloud, there's an audio file here.

You can also order the book.