In seeking new and unique ways to generate interest and a love for reading amongst students, St George’s Seventh Day Adventist School created a schoolwide book fair with a twist.
As a pilot school within the USAID/OECS Early Learner’s Programme (ELP), St Georges Seventh Day Adventist School established a literacy committee which has been focused on improving literacy within their school, through the many ELP initiatives that have been implemented since 2015.
The school has had several struggling readers over the years and is cognisant of the importance of early grade reading and the need to incorporate reading into various aspects of school life. As a result, the literacy committee and teachers created this book fair to generate excitement around reading and further foster creativity and critical thinking.
For the book fair, each class was given an opportunity to prepare a book report on a book they had read. The report could have been presented in the form of an original song, skit or poem, as well as the creation of a 3-dimensional model of the main character.
On the day of presentation, students were interviewed about their book; they had to be knowledgeable about it to prove that the book was read and understood. They also had to answer questions that would help them to think, and the responses were recorded and judged. In addition to providing some of the basics of a book report, the students had to discuss the main character, identify interesting words they came across (which speaks to new vocabulary and meaning of the words), identify and discuss the part of the book enjoyed by most students, summarise and make recommendations with an alternative ending.
According to Ms Bonapart, lead teacher for the book fair, “It was a such a fantastic initiative, and the results were well beyond our expectations. The book fair really highlighted to the teaching staff how beneficial all of the ELP initiatives that we have implemented have been in the student’s growth and development. Our literacy committee along with the teachers, have implemented many strategies in recent years to improve reading, inclusive of extra reading instruction classes, formative assessments and the opening of a school library in 2019. This book report event has successfully added to the ELP early grade reading programme at our school. The work of the various students was so creative and comprehensive, and we saw how much fun the students had in developing and executing their book report.”
The event was so successful that the school is seeking to make it an annual affair. The OECS/USAID ELP congratulates the St George’s Seventh Day Adventist School on this initiative.
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