I am so excited about a Picture Book Month event that I have planned on Thursday. From 10-11:00AM EST, 6 schools in 5 different states and 2 authors in 2 different states will come together in a Google Hangout on Air to share favorite picture books as well as why picture books are for everyone. The hangout will broadcast live on Youtube, but it will also be recorded.
How did this come about?
November is National Picture Book Month. It’s a month where I ask students, teachers, and families to read as many picture books as possible and to think about the importance of picture books in our world. It’s also a month where a lot of educators make connections with one another to celebrate and explore together. At the beginning of the month, Laura D’Elia, school librarian in Massachusetts, organized a Google Doc for librarians across the country to make connections with one another by having access to one another’s schedules. The Doc also became a space for brainstorming other ways to celebrate.
I suggested that we hold a picture book Google Hangout and share favorite picture books among schools. This immediately started some focused brainstorming on Thursday’s event. Several schools were on board and we pledged to meet together in Hartford, CT face to face at the American Association of School Librarians Conference. Even before we arrived there, we had started our plan of how to advertise the event, how to structure it, how to involve students, and how to bring in authors. Our Smore page began to populate with our ideas as they came together. Each one of us had additional connections with other schools and authors, so we each invited others to join our hangout. Cathy Potter invited Ame Dyckman, author, to join us. I invited Laurel Snyder, author, to join us. We are so excited that they will both be able to attend.
In advance, students at each of our schools are preparing in different ways for the event. My students filled out a short script to help them remember what to say. They basically had to remember things like the title, what the book was about, why they liked it, and why picture books are for everyone. They also practiced sitting in front of the camera and reading their script. Their books are waiting in a stack for our hangout.
We’ve read. We’ve recruited. We’ve prepared. We’ve organized. Now, we are ready to connect and have a full hour of sharing as many picture books as we can. It’s a smackdown! We hope that you will join us by visiting the Smore page at 10:00AM EST on Thursday November 21st. Just click on the video feed that will appear on the page at that time and enjoy. You can also tweet about our smackdown using #pbsmkdwn as the hashtag. If you can’t watch live, consider visiting the page and watching the archive of our hangout. You’ll also find a post on my blog later this week detailing how much fun we had during our connection.