Bringing books to life

I’ve got a frustratingly long to do list at the moment, so am delighted that I’m able to report that I’ve completed one of the projects on it.

I’ve just sent Bringing Books to Life, two short guides written for teachers working in schools in sub-Saharan Africa, off to the printer.

The first guide ‘Starting and managing a book collection’ looks at how schools can establish and manage a collection of books, including options for the storage of books, systems for lending books, and how books should be treated to help them last.

The second guide ‘Using books in the classroom’, sets out the importance of introducing students to written materials and shares some ideas for how these materials, including books, can be used in the classroom to teach reading and improve learning. It introduces five different approaches for using written material with students: reading aloud, shared, guided, group and independent reading.

Exposure to written and printed texts is essential for developing the ability to read. However, one of the challenges that most schools in Africa face is a lack of books and learning materials, and even when schools have reading materials, teachers often don’t have the skills and experience to use them effectively.

Bringing Books to Life is designed to encourage teachers and school communities to consider how to produce and acquire books and learning materials and to use those that they have more effecitively.

The guides were illustrated by Chitra Merchant and designed my Mark Studio, both of whom have done a fantastic job.

The guides will be distributed as a set to teachers in schools in sub-Saharan Africa by Book Aid International.