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April 26, 2021

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Rachel McCann | July 26, 2021

CBCA Scavenger Hunt


For many students Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Book Week is the highlight of their year. It is a time for schools and libraries to celebrate Australian children's literature by having children dress up as story characters and parade around the school. If they are lucky, the students also get to complete some of the hundreds of Book Week related activities we have created at Learn From Play.

Yet Book Week is not until Term 3 from August 21 and no one wants to wait that long so we thought we would start the excitement early with a game to celebrate the recent announcement of the CBCA 2021 short list. We have also included a very short background on why the CBCA holds Book Week and the theme for 2021 before explaining a great game you can play with your students to get them excited about the notables and help them learn how to find and shelve books in your library.

The history and philosophy behind Book Week.

A profit for purpose (not for profit) volunteer run organisation established in 1945 the CBCA was founded to promote Australian children’s books and their then unknown authors.  More than 75 years later the CBCA’s annual awards are the most influential and highly regarded book awards in Australia.

With the vision of creating a community that celebrates quality Australian literature to foster a love of reading for young people across Australia.  From hundreds of books sent to the CBCA they select a Book of the Year for Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood and a Picture Book of the year.  They also present an annual Eve Pownall Award for a book which documents factual material in an imaginative fashion and a CBCA Award for a new illustrator.

This year the winning books will be announced on Friday, August 20.

This Year’s Theme

The CBCA theme for Book Week 2021 is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds (OWNWOW). You will find resources for this on our dedicated CBCA page with a colouring-in, bookmark and on-line games celebrating this theme.

You will also find a growing collection of book resources for each of the books we have created resources for. This includes The Unwilling Twin, Bear In Space and Shapes and Colours which are in the running for Picture Book of the Year and Young Reader Book of the Year.

But this article is about going beyond worksheets and getting your students more active in the school library. It is also going to help your students learn how to find books alphabetically and may assist them in putting books back correctly too.

Active Game

For this activity you will need a library and a list of previous CBCA book award recipients which can be found at https://cbca.org.au/previous-winners.  You may want to check your library data base to see which of the books on the list your school has or ask your school librarian to assist you with this.

Before beginning the game you will need to show your students how books are categorised and shelved in the library.  For most children’s books this is done alphabetically by author. Choose a book from the list you have and demonstrate how to find that particular book.  Students may get confused if your library uses an F in front of the first 3 letters of the author’s surname to denote a Fiction book so explaining this is important.

Once students know how to locate the books they can be given a set of 3 previous CBCA notable books to find and must work in teams to race to locate their books.  To save having to re-shelve the books, and include more learning, students could use their list of books to mark the location of the book they find on the shelf, remove the book, take a photo of its cover and return it to its original location and remove their list sheet. This will save many hours of book returns and teach students the importance of returning a book to its original location so it can be found again.

Once students understand how to find books in the fiction section you may want to include some Eve Pownall non-fiction books in a follow up game activity.  This would require you to teach your students the basics of the Dewey decimal system for subject codes but it would teach your students very important skills in resource sourcing beyond Wikipedia.

This is a game that could be play multiple times in the lead up to Book Week when you play it with your students please let us know via the comments section how much they enjoyed it and possibly send up some of the cover photos that the students took to show us which books you included.

Book Fun

Library Game

Book Week 2021

Gamifying Shelving


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