Reading cup charms

Elizabeth Ettlin, 10, Olivia Gunningham, 12, both of Forest Primary School, Emma Coker, 12, of Smithton Primary School, and Chelsea Harrisson, 12, of Redpa Primary School were crowned cup champions.

Learning. The reading bug has hit the Circular Head Cluster of Schools.

Students from Smithton, Stanley, Forest, Redpa and Edith Creek primary schools took part in the inaugural Murchison Readers’ Cup last week.

An initiative of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, the Readers’ Cup has been held in the south of the state and around the country for a number of years.

Senator for Tasmania Steve Martin introduced the event to Devonport last year before bringing the primary school phenomenon to Circular Head. The challenge was hosted by Smithton Primary School last Wednesday.

“We saw it as an excellent platform to engage students in purposeful reading and an opportunity where they can collaborate in creative ways,” says Carolyn Force, advanced skills teacher.

“It’s also a way we could extend students, and it supports our overall outcomes of raising literacy levels across the cluster of schools.”

Mixed teams of students in grades five and six were provided with a reading list to study a month ahead of the event before completing a creative challenge and quiz on the day.

“It’s about reading comprehension and getting students to give personal and creative responses to literature,” Mrs Force says.

The novels and picture books to read were:

• Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson

Mrs Whitlam by Bruce Pascoe

Fabish the Horse that Braved a Bushfire by Neridah McMullin and Andrew McLean

Big Red Kangaroo by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Graham Byrne

The Little Refugee by Anh Do and Suzanne Do and illustrated by Bruce Whatley

The Coat by Julie Hunt and Ron Brooks.

First up, teams were instructed to come up with a response to The Little Refugee in the creative challenge. Studying the themes and representations throughout the book, students presented short plays, poems and displays.

“They created a response together which portrayed an aspect that stood out to them, and these were represented in different ways,” Mrs Force says.

Next, students were quizzed on six to eight questions on each book before the judging.

Taking the top gong in the creative challenge and quiz master rounds, to win the overall Murchison Readers’ Cup, were Elizabeth Ettlin, 10, Olivia Gunningham, 12, Emma Coker, 12 and Chelsea Harrisson, 12.

Circular Head Cluster of Schools students took part in the inaugural Murchison Readers’ Cup at Smithton Primary School. Pictures: Ashleigh Force.

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