Category Archives: Library Studies
How is it late April already? So many things have been happening both at Saints as a whole and in the Library, that, sadly, this blog has taken a backseat! It just means that we’re busy and happy as we play, learn and read. And not update the blog…
So what’ve we been up to for the past two weeks, you ask?
Well, to start with, last Monday was Choice Day! As its name suggests, this is a day during Arts Week when the students can choose how they spend their day. Teachers offer a wide variety of creative activities, from drama to kite-making to making clarinets out of carrots (for realz). In the Library, we hosted The Cardboard Challenge, inspired by Caine’s Arcade. Nine boys from Grades 1 to 7 signed up, and spent the day happily playing and building with cardboard.
Later that week, the two Walkers (Librarian and Grade 5 teacher) began the much-anticipated Arrival unit, a cross-curricular Social Studies project that uses Shaun Tan’s remarkable wordless graphic novel The Arrival as a unifying story about immigration.
And finally, we concluded the week with a special panel of guests who discussed their own immigration stories. Mrs. Walker invited her father, Dr. Day, and Mr. Sose and Mr. Thomas from the P.E. department shared their own stories of how they arrived in Canada.
All in all it was a busy but exciting week here in the Library!
Today we welcomed Wendy Porter, an archeologist specializing in the Mayan civilization! Wendy brought a wealth of knowledge along with a variety of intriguing artifacts for the students to interact with, including cacao nibs, which the Maya used as currency. (We relaxed the “no eating in the Library” rule today.) She even anticipated the needs of quieter students by coming prepared with questions on cards that they could ask her.
Here are some fascinating facts we learned today:
– The word “shark” comes from the Maya fish god “xoc”
– Cacao was used as money
– Maya children were punished by being held over burning chili peppers!
– The ball used in the Mesoamerican ballgame weighed eight pounds!
Take a peek at the photos below:
The past month has been a whirlwind of moving, organizing, planning and setting up, as we finally received our new library furnishings to complete the first phase of our renovation! The new library setup is phenomenal. The new shelving units are moveable and provide cozy nooks and corners for boys to read or work. The tables and seating are adaptable to different sizes of students, and allow the boys to collaborate with their peers more easily. The new carpet and paint complement the lighter coloured furniture too. Check it out:
And here’s the makeover! Click on a picture to view a slideshow. Tell us what you think!
Ms Walker’s weeding rounds have made their way to the 567s – or, prehistoric life. This perennially popular section needed a little refresh, so a number of older books were culled. (There were even some books that were probably in Ms Walker’s own elementary school library!)
Having combed over a couple of hundred books, Ms Walker begins to question the choices for cover art. Are dinosaurs really that hard to draw? How does a publisher decide what to put on a cover?
Why, for example, does this raptor look so…
crazy enthusiastic about eating dragonflies?
Moreover, one can only imagine the discussion going down at the boardroom of Troll Associates (*chortle*) back in 1989 when it came time to design the cover for Life After the Dinosaurs.
Head Troll: Alright team, Life After the Dinosaurs is ready to go to the printers. We just need something to go on the cover. Any ideas? We can’t have dinosaurs. That would be too confusing.
Junior Troll: Well… how about something that came after the dinosaurs? Maybe?
Head Troll: I like it, I like it. But… what?
Junior Troll: Um, an ostrich?
Head Troll: Genius! Absolutely brilliant. An ostrich! I love it.
Artist: I can do an ostrich. Ostriches are my specialty.
Junior Troll: This is perfect!
Head Troll: Only problem is… an ostrich on the cover is going to look a lot like our last book, Ostriches I Have Known.
Junior Troll: Good point.
Artist: But what if I put, like,some mammoths and a saber-toothed tiger in the background, and make the ostrich stand in front of a giant Tyrannosaurus skull! That would clarify that these are animals that came after the dinosaurs.
Head Troll: Brilliant. Let’s go team! No time to waste!
In our continuing weeding saga, which has brought you such gems as a 15th Century alchemy text, we now turn our attention to the Sports section (Ms. Walker’s personal favourite, being such an athletic sort). In addition to a baffling number of books on windsurfing and skydiving, there was also a small yet highly amusing martial arts collection that, sadly, will be headed to the big recycling centre in the sky. But not before we shamelessly mock the late-90s hairstyles in Learn Karate by J. Allen Queen.
To be fair, this book actually seems like a pretty good beginner’s guide. I wouldn’t weed it if the photos weren’t so outdated. The text is easy to follow, there are lots of step-by-step instructions, and it’s well-organized. But, oh, the hair. THE HAIR.
… is a copy of Compound of Alchemy, a “most excellent, learned, and worthy work” by George Ripley, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing. I cannot recommend this title highly enough.
Librarians: how many times have your young students come to you, clutching a lump of lead or copper in their grubby hands, desperate to turn it into gold? I’ve lost count. There is just some information that the internet doesn’t have, and that is why we can turn to the esteemed work of Mr. Ripley, circa 1471. As long as they brush up on their Middle English, this text is simple and easy to follow:
At a slim 190 pages, this handy guidebook is the perfect choice for budding pseudo-scientists – or, indeed, anyone who likes to swap f for s at will – and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for the under-12 set.
Plus! There are BONUS MYSTICAL PICTURES, guys! Unrelated to the book itself – just for your enjoyment.
We anxiously await the hordes rushing to get their hands on this gem of a title.