Since the creation of the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) in 2017 hundreds of successful library projects throughout Scotland have been created. Every month we focus on a SLIF project and how it has helped students. In this month’s SLIF blog Karen Yeoman, Learning Resource Centre Co-ordinator from Aberdeen City Libraries, talks about Book Connections: An Intergenerational Reading Project @ Dyce Academy which took place in 2017 – 2018.   

Shared Reading

The Book Connections project involved getting together a group of S3 & S4 supported pupils with pupils from Dyce Primary’s Learning Den to undertake shared reading.

Over the course of the project they read a selection of six picture books including My Granny is a Pirate and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. To help, we borrowed a selection of puppets from our Curriculum Resources and Information Service (CRIS). These were hugely popular and inspired two S4 boys to build a puppet theatre under the tutelage of our Design & Technology Technician. Another S4 boy, a talented thespian, wrote a short play.

Book Bag Creation

At the end of the summer 2018 term we held a celebration event at Dyce Primary. Certificates and vouchers were awarded before pupils put on their short puppet show. This rounded the joint aspect of the project off nicely.

We had originally planned for both sets of pupils to create Book Bags - filled with books and other useful resrouces - which could be used city-wide by the CRIS. However time restrictions and the end of the school year made this an unrealistic goal. Instead, pupils helped to identify items like hand puppets and relevant games which were then purchased for the Book Bags. They would also write up a Staff Guide with suggested activities and instructions. The result was that two Book Bags were collated by pupils and four created by the two school librarians.

The project was a great success, especially the shared reading aspect. Everyone also benefitted from the development of new skills as well as increased social and self-confidence.

We now hope to build on the connections made and lessons learned to organise more shared reading activities in the future.