The excitement was palpable. Students and teachers couldn’t wait to read, write, and talk about their writing and the books they’d read. All week, there was a buzz in the air, as students anticipated the day’s events!
We hosted our Primary Literacy Week last month to promote a love of reading and writing, which was, by all accounts, a huge success! The week began with a treasure hunt for our youngest students, as they traveled around the school in search of clues related to their favorite books, ending their journey in the library, where they found a bookmark treasure. On Monday, we also listened to some traditional Australian stories, told by Ms Liz and Mr Martin, where we learned that Australia is a melting pot of people from many places. The race was on as we kicked off our week long book reading competition, where House Teams competed to see who could read the most books. All week students carried around their “Poem in my Pocket;” students excitedly read their poems to one another, eager to share their own poem creations and ones they love.
Students were introduced to the art of Kamishibai, a storytelling method from Japan. One of our Japanese parents, along with Ms Joanne, were enthusiastic storytellers. A few of our upper primary students in our ELS programme visited our younger students to read a story in English, where they exhibited confidence and pride. Rounding out Tuesday was “Write Your Heart Out,” where students were given free choice and an extended period of time to write and create anything they desired. Students enthusiastically wrote books, created comic strips, crafted letters, and blogged their stories.
Wednesday was by far the students’ favorite day! Students and teachers alike wore pajamas to school and got to read in their classroom for an extended, uninterrupted amount of time. In addition to the read-in, ACG School Jakarta parents put on a bake sale, where students could buy yummy treats to munch on while they read. All of the money raised was donated to the efforts of the CAS students in Secondary, who are raising money for an orphanage. We celebrated our host country’s traditional storytelling with a rousing Wayang performance by a local dalang. One of our Korean parents read engaging cultural stories in both Korean and English, and students discussed the moral afterwards. Additionally, several teachers dressed up as famous storybook characters to read to classes during the day, and throughout the week.
Thursday was jam-packed with events! We began the day with a rousing Indonesian story, Timun Mas, told by one of our Indonesian parents. Our Year 6 students confidently performed puppet shows for our Lower Primary students. Thursday was the final day of the book fair, where students were able to purchase books from a local vendor. We ended the day with our Year 3-6 Spelling Bee, which was exciting and had everyone on the edge of their seat! Our first, second, and third place winners were Marsha in Year 6 and Nate and Remy in Year 4. Congratulations to our winners and all of our participants!
On our final morning, students and teachers donned costumes to represent their favorite book characters and participated in a book character parade during our morning assembly. One class even came together to represent Mary Poppins, each person taking on a different character. Creativity abounded as they proudly paraded around the gym! We were excited to listen to a Pakistani story, told by one of our Pakistani parents in an oral storytelling method. At the end of the day, students in Year 3 to 6 descended upon the library to compete in the Battle of the Books, a trivia challenge all about literature. The room was abuzz as students (and teachers!) feverishly scribbled down their answers to the many questions about popular books. The game, played in three rounds, with each round getting progressively more difficult, eliminated players until we were left with just three students who were crowned the champions. Following the Battle of the Books, students were heard saying that they wished we could do this every week!
Throughout the week, students also participated in a few challenges, such as a Door Decorating Contest, where students collaborated to decorate their classroom door to represent their class’s favorite book. Doors were judged by the Literacy Week Committee, with awards given out at Friday morning’s assembly. One of the most popular events of the week was “Guess Who?”, a display of teachers holding up their favorite book in front of their face was featured in the lobby, where a crowd of students could be found nearly every hour of the day trying to guess who was who.
ACG School Jakarta’s Primary Literacy Week was an astounding success, and the students and teachers are already anticipating the fun that next year’s event will bring!
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