By Jessica Marston, teacher librarian at Hagley Farm School
ON 22 May students from across the Meander Valley joined over 1 million children in Australia and New Zealand for National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS), all sharing the same book, Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove.
This was the 19th year of the NSS, which is an event aimed at promoting the value of reading and literacy, the fun of books, and an Australian author and publisher.
Hagley Farm School took advantage of their own reallife alpacas with children from Kinder to Grade 6 enjoying a live-feed from the alpaca paddock.
Visitors’ Centre staff member Mr Tyson introduced the story with help from Maggie, Snowy, Noelle and Blinky Bill. This video can still been seen on the Hagley Visitor Centre Facebook page.
The children then watched the Story Box Library version of the story read by the author Matt Cosgrove and ABC TV identity Jimmy Rees (Jimmy Giggle).
At Bracknell Primary School, Mr Eeles read the story and Mrs Strickland provided the sound effects, while children were able to see the story unfold on the interactive whiteboard.
Mole Creek Primary School had visiting llamas for the day and made lots of alpaca themed crafts. They made their own maracas and even learnt and performed a song about alpacas with maracas!
Deloraine Primary School students were joined by Early Learners from the Toddle Inn Childcare Centre. Mr Samphier filmed Mrs Groenewold reading the story, adding lots of sound effects as well. As children watched this film in their classrooms they felt as if Mrs Groenewold was actually in the story.
Westbury Primary School Prep/1 and 1/2 classes walked to Westbury Library to take part in their NSS event. Anne-Marie Loader from the Deloraine Library kept them engaged with a lively reading of the book. Afterwards they shared library books together and made an alpaca collage.
Giant Steps students from Prep to Grade 12 watched the key-sign video and read along with the story. As well as following up with some craft activities, the children learned the key-signs for alpacas and maracas with some help from their speech pathologists.
At Our Lady of Mercy, Kinder to Grade 2 students followed up the story by making their own maracas using rice, disposable spoons and masking tape. The students then had fun playing songs with their maracas.
For those who didn’t get a chance to join in with the fun of this year’s NSS event, Westbury Show are planning to feature an alpaca display in November this year, which will likely include another
reading of this very engaging