Friday, May 18, 2007

Book Talk

A school library has many roles and functions. The promotion of books and reading is one of these. The librarian in this case, becomes a teacher who bridges literacy and the tools necessary for its acquisition to students. Furthermore, she assumes a collaborative role as teaching partner of the classroom teacher. In the process, support for the teaching and learning process is forged between teacher and librarian.

Since techniques and strategies abound when it comes to the promotion of books and reading, Book Talks, are by far the easiest to do. It is simple, quick and resources to implement it are very accessible in the library. Books are, after all, always available in the library.

To start a book talk session, you need to prepare yourself by reading good books suitable for your intended audience. Other library resources can be “talked” about though, so do not limit the opportunity with books alone. Denise Johnson (2003) provides these basic tips:

1. Select one or more books to share. When teachers share more than one book, the books are usually related in some way: they may be part of a text set, written by the same author, or on a related topic.

2. Plan a brief presentation for each book. During the one- to two-minute presentation, the presenter tells the title and author of the book and gives a brief summary, and then explains why they liked it and why students might be interested in it. The teacher may also read a short excerpt and show an illustration.

3. Display the books. Presenters show the book during the book talk and then display it on a chalk tray or shelf to encourage students' interest.

Take note that Book Talks are not exclusive for teachers to do. The library at lunch time or dismissal is filled with students eager to read or while away the time. Invite them for circle groups to discuss new books or old favorites. Energize your Readers' Services by conducting Book Talks.

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