It’s a rainy day. Today I am visiting St. Thomas Boys Primary School for a session. I drive up and park and walk into the staff room where I see a wall that’s covered with colourful books….Bookworm shelves! Flavia was ready, and we rushed off to the first class for the day.
Std. 2. An excitable bunch really, they were so happy when we walked in to the class; a chorus ‘yay!’ went into the air!
Today this class is only exchanging their library books, and even for this, they were charged! Flavia went off to assist with book selection, and I was left in class with the kids. Row by row they trotted off to the library, and I launched into a game with them.
‘I spy with my little eye, something that is…..RECTANGULAR!
‘Paper! Teacher window! Table!’, they yelled.
‘Nooooo!’ I replied.
‘Teacher! Teacher! Teacher! Board! Board! Blackboard!’
‘Yes! Blackboard! Who’s going to take a turn next?!’
And so it was that we started our interaction with a game of I Spy. The kids took turns in spying things around their classroom, and each trying to be more ingenious than the other.
In time, we moved ahead and I picked up a book to read to them. Today, it was going to be Dr. Seuss’ The Eye Book; a wonderfully illustrated book that shows the various things our eyes see while providing text that flows in a rhythmic, rhyme scheme.
As the story progressed, the kids watched intently as each page turned. They laughed when they saw certain pages, and they followed the rhyme scheme presented in the book when I pointed things out to them.
As we read the story, the kids with renewed story books were filing into class and the happiness was visible. They were excited by the books they brought back and couldn’t wait to show each other what they picked.
When we got done, and the discussion was through, I told the kids that they could proceed to read the books they’d brought back from the library. Quickly, little circles formed and discussions broke out in the class as pages turned and collective expressions were heard from here and there. I walked through the rows talking to the kids about what they were seeing in their books; reading with them and listening to them tell their tales.
In spending time with these kids, it is clear to see that they are interested readers. They are hungry for books and the way in which they turn the pages and take in all that they see is really an experience in itself.
A not unfamiliar ringing in our ears heralded what the LiS team at Bookworm lives by- the music that determines the pace of the dance. Step out of one class, step in to the next. This is the changing of partners.
The next classes we stepped into were the two Std. 4 divisions. These boys are full of energy, and it shows! The live wires are just waiting for a chance to spring up to even answer. Flavia, having picked up the charge in these classes, added to it with a game to bring the book to context. And they were at it, one row vs. the next, in that mood of competing, they came up with responses to the questions they were asked.
Calm settled when the book was bought out and the reading began. The energy was suddenly focused purely to the book and eyes watched as the pages turned.
“Rhyming words!” and they got to the task they were assigned!
Boys will be boys. And here in this school, there is energy, enthusiasm and excitement. And all 3 of them apply to books as well.
Abracadabra! And the page was turned!