A virtual class library
Children who love reading perform better in school overall – vocabulary development, grammar – these are the obvious benefits. A more subtle learning is the development of the art of writing. When you read good pieces of writing – novels, essays etc you imbibe the style and the tone of different genres of writing. So it’s a win-win all around!
Now for the slightly tricky part – some children love reading, some not so much. Can a love for reading be developed and enhanced? As a teacher, yes, I believe it can. Reading can be fun especially when we read aloud and read together for enjoyment. I have witnessed this in my classroom, when we spend the most magical time (once or twice a week) reading a book together.
The challenge was to create an ambience or a feel of the bookshelf / library at school during these challenging times of virtual learning. But, If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is that the human will is indomiatable – so read on…
I created a virtual class library for my students so that, in some way, they could have the feel of a library, and a bookshelf full of books to click and read.
Am sharing a step by step pictorial guide to how I created my own class library. Hope this helps you create one of your own! Here goes –
Open a new Google slide in your browser
Delete these two blocks (title and subtitle), so you have a blank canvas to work with
Now, choose a background you would like for the library – I chose a brick wall
The next step is to place a bookshelf in your library -> insert image -> search web for a transparent bookshelf. Make sure you include the word transparent
Once i chose and added my bookshelf to the slide, I snipped an image of the book cover i wanted to add and placed it on the bookshelf, using insert image. To enable students to click on the book cover and read, first click on the image, then click on Insert -> link. Copy paste the hyperlink to the pdf version of the book here. Picture reference below :
You can keep adding books in this way. The link to this google slide can then be shared with students. I have pasted this link as a separate section in the Microsoft Class notebook. I have created one bookshelf for unit related and academic content, and one for fiction books – reading for pleasure. A snip of the 2 bookshelves in my class library is pasted below –
An example of how we have used the class library (other than for unit related and English reading) – we have been doing loud reading of the Roald Dahl book ‘Matilda’ around once a week. Students are really loving this book. They read aloud in turns (serves the purpose of a reading assessment also 👍) and then we discuss the story, the characters, what parts we enjoyed. It was so rewarding to hear some students share that these reading sessions motivated them to actually buy a physical copy of the book to continue reading!
Students are now recommending books that would like to add to our bookshelf –
A double act – Jacqueline Wilson
A series of unfortunate events Daniel Handler
Skylanders Universe – Onk Beakman
Sam the stolen puppy – Holly Webb
Are we there yet – Enid Blyton
Would appreciate any recommendations to add to this list of good reading for my Grade 5 students – please do share in comments 😊
Happy reading to all of you and your students. Do share in the comments any initiatives you are taking to develop a love for reading in your children….