We held two Chatterbooks training days in Scotland in early November; one in the impressive surroundings of Edinburgh Central Library, and one in a bright open-plan library in Bannockburn, near Stirling.
32 library staff attended the days; around half are already running Chatterbooks groups, and the others were aiming to set up groups as soon as possible. They focussed on who they wanted to involve in their groups, and who they would work with to encourage children to take part.
(Storytelling activity with library staff at Bannockburn Library, Stirling.)
Here are some of the successful Chatterbooks session ideas which we shared at the training day:
- Red House Children's Book Awards - choose winners
- Story cubes (can be bought online or from book stores)
- Book charades
- 'Just a minute' - talking about your favourite book for one minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition
- Enid Blyton books - which are your favourites?
- Dr Seuss books - including watching the Lorax
- Films and TV vs. books - take out book and DVD on loan, then report back as to the differences - which do you prefer? E.g. Heidi, Coraline, Charlotte's Web. If you were making your favourite book into a film, who would you cast in the main roles?
- Storyboards with graphic novels
- 500 word story writing competition
- The BfG - make up new words like the BfG
- Mr Twit's beard - decorate with bits of food & paint for egg yolk etc
- Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowing
- Science - do some experiments - link to science fiction, and information books
- Lego character enactments of scenes from books - could even do film animations
- Making Zoetropes of short stories
- Archaeology - dissecting poos from the past! A BBC resource.
We also had two guest speakers, who spoke about provision for children with dyslexia. Mairi Kidd, CEO of Barrington Stoke, talked about the design and content of their Dyslexia Friendly books for children, and how it helps them to gain confidence in reading. Wendy Pearson gave an inspirational account of the Edinburgh Chatterbooks group for children with dyslexia. She talked about their sessions, and showed us their scrapbook, which records their activities and the impact on the children taking part.
Find out more about Chatterbooks children's reading groups. Set up a group in your school or library and register it on Reading Groups for Everyone to get tips and resources for running a group and information about upcoming competitions for children.
Have a look through the Barrington Stoke Chatterbooks activity pack for some great activities and ideas using a range of their latest titles.
Read the full case study from Wendy Pearson about their Chatterbooks group for children with dyslexia.
To enquire about a Chatterbooks training day with a special emphasis on working with children with dyslexia, please contact Jenny.Warner@readingagency.org.uk.