Northern Ontario school teacher Martha Attema wrote to us to share a story about her school's involvement with the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading program. Classes at Vincent Massey Public school recently enjoyed some Farley-themed activities as they read Farley Follows His Nose, one of the books nominated for the OLA's Blue Spruce award.
Martha tells us:
The Ontario Library Association (OLA) initiates the Forest of Reading Program to celebrate Canadian Authors and Illustrators. Every year 10 books are nominated in each one of the categories.
The Blue Spruce Awards are for books created for kids ages 4-7, the Silver Birch Award is for ages 7-11, the Red Maple Award is for ages 11-15, the White Pine Award covers grades 9-12, and the Evergreen Award is voted on by adult library patrons of any age. The Golden Oak Award is geared toward adult learners and Le Prix Tamarack is for French language initiative. For more information visit the OLA web site Forest of Reading.
Schools in Ontario can register for the various reading programs. At Vincent Massey P.S. we have always celebrated the Blue Spruce Award. The participating teachers read all ten picture books to their students. They pick their favourite and develop activities for their students. On voting day, which we held April 21, the students traveled from classroom to classroom to learn about the various books and their exciting activities.
This year Farley follows his Nose was a favourite with our students. In Penny Lecour's grade one/two math class the students did a unit on mapping. They created Farley's neighborhood and the places he found by following his nose.
(Graphic: The promised map complete with plushie.)
In Cathy Hebert's grade two class the students were learning about dialogue in comic books. They created a big book using Farley's pictures, to write their own speech bubbles.
(Graphic: Home-made comic strip.)
In Martha Attema's grade one/two the students wrote pattern poems using Farley's sniffing sound words.
(Graphic: exactly what was promised.)
In Art the students created Farleys out of construction paper.
(Graphic: Construction paper Farleys.)
Thanks to Lynn Johnston's generosity we had a draw for the students to win the book or the plush Farley dog for their classroom. Nick R. won the book and Nathan W. won Farley.
After we counted the votes that day, we learned that Farley Follows His Nose was the big winner at our school with 45 votes. The votes had to be sent to the OLA by April 30.
On May 12-13, during the big celebration at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, the winners of the Forest of Reading will be announced.