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Book club an opportunity to share ideas

28 Nov 2019

Teachers at book club

The library was buzzing with great ideas, experiences and students’ work as the northside book club started.

Each term, teachers meet to share books, resources, lesson plans and experiences of how they incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and cultures into their teaching and their students’ learning.

Louise Coombes, Year 3 teacher at Ainslie School, has been attending the meetings since they began in 2018 and says it has really evolved from the traditional book club focus of just sharing a book.

“We share so much more now – this is what we’re doing in our school, this is another resource that I’ve found. It’s also about making connections with teachers from other schools in the same area and building that network.

At the Term 4 meeting, Louise shared her experience using a book that was recommended at a previous meeting.

“We used Bangu the Flying Fox (by Jillian Taylor) as the basis for our social and emotional learning in the lead up to our Year 3 camp. In the book, Bangu chooses which side she’s on depending on who’s winning so we talked with the kids about how you’re in a few different groups when you’re on camp and how you’re in different groups in your whole life – you live in different suburbs, you have different sporting teams, etc. but you still have to get along with everybody.

“We used the animals in the book as the names for the camp groups and we put Ngunnawal language with those, so the students had a real identity with their group beforehand. They could really connect to it; it was really personal for them.”

Book club meetings are held in each of the four regions with the benefits reaching more than just attending members.

“It means that you can take that back to your school and say look at this amazing book that’s now going to be in the library and you can share that,” Louise said.