Rachel McCann | February 15, 2021
National Simultaneous Storytime 2021
National Simultaneous Storytime 2021 will be a feast for young imaginations! The Australian Space Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist have flown a copy of this year’s chosen book ‘Give Me Some Space!’ by Philip Bunting into outer space where it will be read by an astronaut at the International Space Station!.
On Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 11:00am National Simultaneous Storytime turns 21 and Learn from Play is proud to be the official teaching resource provider. We have created a mountain of teaching resources including engaging printable and online activities PLUS a stack of space related outdoor games to get your students physically active.
What is National Simultaneous Storytime?
Held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), as part of Library and Information Week, National Simultaneous Storytime celebrates reading and literacy for children. On the 3rd Wednesday of May each year an Australia picture book is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, homes and bookshops across Australia and New Zealand.
Designed to promote the value of reading and literacy the chosen book explores age-appropriate themes and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Pre-School to Year 6. This year’s theme is space and the activities we have produced for you are a perfect match for Philip Bunting’s Give Me Some Space.
Activities and Games
On the Learn From Play website you will find 22 printable and on-line interactive activities. These include art and craft activities, puzzles and comprehensions to cater for all levels of primary school and pre-school education. There are also online games of memory, maze and a puzzle plus a link to a comprehensive space unit.
For teachers wanting to get their students active and outdoors either before or after reading the story, let me walk you through 7 fabulously fun space related games you can play!
Catch The Alien (Cat and Mouse)
In this game one student is a scientist and they are attempting to catch an alien. The remaining students stand in a large circle holding hands with the alien in the centre and the scientist on the outside. Students are told whether they are helping the alien or the scientist and raise and lower their hands accordingly. If students are helping the scientist, they must raise and lower their hands to assist the scientist to “tag” the alien while the alien must try to not get tagged by ducking underneath the student’s hands. The two students are swapped after a minute or so to ensure all students get a turn and the roles can be swapped as often as desired to keep students on their toes.
Solar Infection (A Build Up Game)
In this game, a single alien has been discovered on Earth but Oh, oh! they have a rare solar disease that is very contagious. When they touch a human that person is instantly infected and joins the alien in spreading the solar infection. Students must attempt to run from one side of the playing field to the other without being touched by an infected human or the original alien. The last student to be in could be the alien for the next round.
ET (Capture The Flag)
In this game each team is given an ‘alien’ which they must protect just like Elliott protected ET but at the same time they are trying to free an alien captured by the opposing team. Teams face each other at opposite ends of the field with a clear division line marked in the middle. If an opposing team member crosses the line they can be tagged and must freeze in position. They can try to tag their opposing team-mates from within their own territory but cannot return to the game until either a whistle is blown and all captives are freed or the alien is retrieved. The team to retrieve the alien first wins.
On the Learn From Play website, become a premium member to print off space themed memory cards students can use to complete a Space Scavenger Hunt. To conduct a Scavenger Hunt a set of the cards is printed and each of the 12 cards cut out. These cards are placed around the playground on climbing equipment, on flagpoles, basketball hoops, bubbler stands, sides of bins etc. Students are provided with a copy of the cards and must run around and record where each of the 12 cards is placed as quickly as possible. Students can work in teams or individually depending on time availability. The team version of this game is much quicker as students will call out and help others discover where the cards are placed and this reduces the number of items needed to be found.
Saturn is well known as being the planet with the rings. It in fact has 12 rings around it made of ice, rock and dust. In this activity students must try to throw a small hula hoop around a ball as if to create a ring for Saturn. In teams, students are given 3 hoops and, standing behind a marked line, must try to throw as many of them as they can around a ball a short distance away. Once all 3 hoops have been thrown the child must retrieve the hoops, return the ball to its starting position if required and allow the next student to have a turn. Once a student successfully gets all 3 hoops around the ball they can take a step back from the line for their next turn to increase the difficulty of this task.
TIP: If the ball keeps rolling away, place it on a bean bag to make this activity easier for students.
A simple and fun game, this activity uses foam javelins or turbo balls with which students compete to see who can launch (throw) a rocket as far as they can across the playground.
It can also be fun to allow students to throw the rocket as high as they can however students are less able to control where the rocket will land so give plenty of space to avoid hitting unsuspecting fellow teachers or students.
Students could also attempt to throw their rocket onto a landing pad as if re-entering the Earth from space to practice their throwing accuracy or through a hoop as if practicing docking manoeuvres.
Using colourful paint, stickers and glitter students could decorate a paper plate with a half cup on top like a UFO. Once dry these could be taken outside and, using a frisbee throw, students attempt to “fly” their UFO as far as they can. As a group experiment, attach small weights to the UFOs in different positions to see how this affects the flight. Distances could be recorded for a highly relatable Mathematics lesson at a later stage.
These are just some of the many games you could play with your students as part of National Simultaneous Storytime 2021 and let us know via the comment section of the website of other fun games teachers could play inspired by Philip Bunting’s Give Me Some Space. We would also love your feedback on how your students enjoyed these games and which ones they loved the most.