Tania McCartney, Torrens Primary School
On 6 August, Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge Ambassador, Tania McCartney, visited Torrens Primary School to share several of her wonderful children’s picture books and the journey from drafting an idea to publication. Torrens students enjoyed Tania’s readings of See/ Hear (Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft), Smile/ Cry (Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft), Hip Hip Hooray (Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft), Mamie (Tania McCartney) and The Gum Family (Tania McCartney and Christina Booth), with sneak peaks of Tania’s upcoming books Evie and Pog, and Ivy Bird (Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft).
Tania shared her expert author and illustrator knowledge about onomatopoeia, end pages, visual literacy, negotiating with publishers, bringing illustrations to life, and printing and binding books. The students were amazed by the process of writing, illustrating and publishing a children’s book and the value of drafting and editing writing pieces. “Drafts bring out your best work” Tania told the students. “I’ve probably written 3000 books, published 40, and have another 4000 to write!”
Torrens Primary students were excited to keep reading in the last month of the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, telling Tania that reading “makes you write more”, “expands your imagination” and that reading allows you to “explore and have an adventure and learn new words”. Tania left them with the reminder that if they read one book a day, they can grow up and be anything they want.
Jack Heath, Macgregor Primary School and St Monica’s Primary School
Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge Ambassador Jack Heath visited Macgregor Primary School and St Monica’s Primary School on 16 August. Jack prepared the students to become human lie-detectors inspired by his five book series LIARS. The students learnt the 7 top tips for writing a great story as Jack shared many funny and entertaining stories of his experiences as an author. He gave the students several pearls of wisdom about “turning words into money” – “Your only limitations are your vocabulary and imagination. The more you read the better you become at writing... Reading gives you the super power to edit other people’s writing. Ask your peers for feedback on your writing… I don’t believe in non-readers, just people who haven’t read the right book.”
Tracey Hawkins, Franklin Early Childhood School and the Canberra Hospital School
Tracey Hawkins visited Franklin Early Childhood School on 30 July and the Canberra Hospital School on 8 August, sharing her latest book Leaping Lola (illustrated by Anil Tortop) and several of her other books including Max Meets a Monster (illustrated by Chantal Stewart) and Nancy Bentley (illustrated by Jacqui Grantford). Tracey explained the process of researching, writing, editing, working with an illustrator and publishing a book. She talked about where her ideas for her books come from and encouraged the students to write their own books. The students and teachers had lots of questions which they were lucky to have Tracey answer.
Harry Laing, Hawker Primary School
On 12 August, Harry Laing visited Hawker Primary School to meet and work with the Year 3/4 extension writing group. Harry performed several rhymes from his latest book MoonFish, a collection of humorous and catchy poems illustrated by some of Australia’s best known illustrators. The students then had the opportunity to have a go at writing poetry under Harry’s guidance, creating fantastic pieces of writing.
A Chair’s Dreams
The Dreams of a Bookshelf
The Dreams of a Teddy Bear
I wish I was new shiny new
I wish I was a nice colour
Not dull old blue
I wish I was not
Kicked and stomped on
By dirty old shoes
One day I want
To fly like a plane
In the sky but I
Probably never will
Or I wish I could
Swim like fish with gills
And underwater birds
With bills but I
Probably never will
Written by Ross Wilkinson from 4HB
I'm a bookshelf,
I know a lot,
I read about everything,
From inside to out,
I read about the park,
and most of all the busy bees,
But there's one thing I’ve always wanted to do, and not just read about it,
But do it…,
I want to travel the WORLD.
By ML year 4
I sit on a chair
Instead of a lair
It's really bare
People come and cuddle me,
Pick me up and sit on me
I hate it,
They squash me and
I just want to wee
I have dreams
On my chair that I
Will have a tear
From those ghastly children
It's by golly gosh forbidden
But here I am
A lonely bear
Sitting on my lonely chair
- Helena Boyd 4HB
Irma Gold, Holy Family Primary School and Isabella Plains Early Childhood School
Irma Gold visited Holy Family Primary School on 14 August and Isabella Plains Early Childhood School on 16 August and shared her experiences researching and writing picture books as an author and as an editor. The students were very excited to see Irma’s childhood photos and handmade picture books. Irma told the students that she had three wishes: 1. To Meet a Fairy. 2. To Fly. 3. To become an author. Very happy that she got her third wish. Irma explained “I wanted to be an author because I love books… When I write, I feel happy… Keep following your passions and you’ll find what makes you happy”. Irma read her book Megumi and the Bear (illustrated by Craig Phillips) and gave the children ‘behind the scene’ insights into the inspiration for the book, the process of illustrating and writing the book and encouraged her ‘fellow authors and editors’ to keep on reading and writing. Irma also gave us a sneak peak of her upcoming children’s picture book Seree’s Story (illustrated by Wayne Harris).
How to Meet the Challenge
- Challenge concludes Friday 13 September 2019
- Verification forms due Friday 27 September 2019
- The Chief Minister's Reading Challenge commences in Term One each year and concludes in Term Three.
- The Challenge is open to all ACT schools for students in Preschool to Year 12. Note that registration is for schools only – not individuals.
- There is no prescribed book list for the Challenge. Students, teachers, parents and carers can access Reading Tips on how to select a book and how to engage students in the Challenge.
- Prizes will be awarded to winning schools at the Awards Ceremony on Thursday 31 October 2019.
Instructions for Students
There are two approaches to choose from
Challenge yourself to read something different
Preschool to Year 6
Year 7 to Year 12
Preschool to Year 6
Year 7 to Year 12
Students can make their own book choices, including novels, non-fiction, poetry, or books in a language other than English.
Books read to students may also be recorded.
Optional: Reading a book and then writing a book report can be recorded as two items on the student reading record. The written report shows further engagement and deeper understanding with texts through reading and responding.
Students can challenge themselves to read a range of different texts. Broad items are included in the attached challenge lists. Each book read can only count towards one item on the list.
Note: Book reports do not replace reading an item on the list.
- Books can be novels, non-fiction, poetry, or books in a language other than English.
- Collect an Individual Student Reading Record from your teacher, or download a copy from the Resources tab. Each time you complete a book, don't forget to add it to your reading record. Teachers may record books on the Whole Class Reading Record. There are different versions for the two ways of participating, and for kindergarten to year 6, and year 7 to year 12 students.
- When you have finished reading a book, ask a parent, carer or teacher to initial/verify your entry.
- When you have finished reading all the books from your challenge and have recorded them, give your completed Individual Student Reading Record to your teacher who will give it to the school contact person for the Challenge.
Instructions for Teachers
- Ensure your school has registered for the Challenge via the online School Registration Form. This form requires details about the total number of participating students in each year level. The contact staff member will receive information about the Challenge and alerts about updates to the website from the CMRC mailbox (CMRC@act.gov.au).
- Distribute the Individual Student Reading Record for each student and the Whole Class Reading Records to teachers. These editable templates will allow you to create personalised class document/s for your students to access and record their books. If you would like further details and instructions, please email CMRC@act.gov.au
- Collect Student Reading Records from students who have successfully completed the Challenge. Give the Reading Record/s or your Whole Class Reading Record to the contact staff member for your school who will collate the information on the online School Verification Form .
- The completed School Verification Form must be submitted at the end of the Challenge period. This form requires details about the total number of students in each year level who successfully completed the Challenge. Please use the electronic copy of your School Registration Form (that was emailed to you at the beginning of the Challenge) to assist with this process. No verifications will be accepted after the closing date.
Please contact CMRC@act.gov.au if you have any questions or are having trouble accessing or submitting the following forms.
School Registration Form
- Register for your school using the online Google form Registration Form
- You will need details of the total numbers of students (whole school and each year level) who are registering for the 2019 Challenge
- Once submitted, you will receive a copy of your responses via email.
- Due Friday 3 May 2019
Student Reading Records
Schools/teachers may record student reading records on a Whole Class Reading Record or Individual Student Reading Records. Use the appropriate record sheet for your students’ stage of school and Challenge participation choice.
- 2019 CMRC Individual Read something different Primary (53.3 KB)
- 2019 CMRC Individual Read something different Secondary (52.4 KB)
- 2019 CMRC Individual Student Reading Record Primary (50.6 KB)
- 2019 CMRC Individual Student Reading Record Secondary (50.2 KB)
- 2019 Whole Class Reading Record (1.2 MB)
School Verification Form
- At the conclusion of the Challenge (Friday 13 September 2019), complete the online verification form .
- You will need details of the total numbers of students (whole school and each year level) who completed the Challenge. Student Reading Records need to be collected from each class in order to collate the final numbers. It would also be helpful to have a copy of your original School Registration Form available to assist with this process.
- Due Friday 27 September 2019. Note: Late verifications will not be accepted.