Reading project in Germany

Reading project number 1: November 2015

Our first reading project was a reading competition. It was planned and done as a whole school project, so everyone was involved and was part of this.
It was divided into two parts: the German reading competition and the English reading competition.
All yeargroups from Years 1/2 to Year 6 started part one by picking out books and texts and practicing them with teachers, reading tutors or fellow students. Everyone was invited to take part but nobody was forced to read out alound. As most kids were highly motivated, more than 70% took their chance and tried to become „reading champion“.
Each yeargroup did their own reading competition.The children read passages of their favorite books or texts to their classmates. They elected, according to some criteria like fluency, pronunciation, volume and speed, two winners to represent their class in the big competition. The big reading contest was taking place on three day. The classwinners had prepared a know text and after reading this to the audience, they were given an unknown text. On day one we started with our youngest readers from Years 1/2 and Year 3. As we have six beginner classes and two Year 3 groups, we only had one winner per group in this first competition. They all did an amazing job considering the fact that some of the participants were still quite young.
On the next day the two class champions from Years 4 and 5 read against each other. And on the third day the winners from Year 6 fought for the title: reading champion.
The second part of the project only involved Years 3 to 6, as we start teaching English in Year 3. So the following week was all about reading skills with English books and texts. Again, they had a known text (this time all winners had the same text) and also an unknow text. The unknown text was very similar to the practiced text.
Like the previous one, the English reading competition was a big success and the participating children, teachers, reading tutors and parents had a great time.
All the talented and happy reading contestants received a certificate and those, who were able to win the reading competition also got a gift voucher from a book store.

Reading project number 2 (by: Dolphins Years 1 and 2 combined and Bears (Years 1 and 2))

Our next reading project was called: “Buchstabenbaum“ (The Alphabet tree). It is based on a book by Leo Leonni.
A strong wind blows most of the letters off the alphabet tree and those that remain hide among the branches. Then a bug and a caterpillar come along and teach them how to arrange themselves into words and sentences to form a special message.
The picture book was was either read by students or read to the kids by a teacher.
Our project was divided into five parts.
We started with the creation of the „Alphabet tree“, where each student wrote already know letters into the leaves of the tree.
In the second part we talked about fear and what to do against it. We worked in small groups with teachers, caretakers and reading tutors.
Next, we made words out of the letters, like the bug had suggested in the book. Because as a group or team, the letters are much stronger against the wind than by themselves.
In the fourth part of the project, we formed sentences out of the words. This was especially fun with dice and other games. Our Year 1 children were extremly proud to write their first sentences.
At the end, we found out the key sentence with the main message of the book: Peace on earth throughout the people.
The children drew the letters in their art lesson and made a big banner out of them.
We talked about peace and how important it is for all of us. As the caterpillar in the book did, we wanted to share our message with everyone and hung our banner by the entrane, for everyone to see.

Reading project number 3: reading lesson

On the 18th of March 2016 , on the last day before our Easter holidays, our school launched a whole school reading project. The teachers, caretakers and reading tutors had arranged a “reading lesson”. All the children of Year 1 and 2, Year 3 and 4 as well as Year 5 and 6 were mixed up. Every participating adult had chosen a book or picture book, appropriate for their year group and designed a poster. The pupils could then choose a book and enroll in a list. The classrooms were turned into reading corners, reading cinemas and other things and for 45 minutes a group of 8 to 12 children had the pleasure of listening to a story or book. They all loved it, enjoyed the atmosphere and had a good time. Some children immediately stormed to the library to borrow the book and read it again or to finish reading it at home.

Reading project number 4: Making an Audio Play

In order to further motivate and improve the reading of her children, Mrs Bonk had an amazing idea. She wanted to make an Audio Play with her class 5a. The children were more than excited and started by picking out the text. They could chose between a few stories and after they had agreed to one, originally a christmas story, they changed, edited and simplified it.

Step two was writing a skript for the Audio Play. After the skript was finally ready, they could start recording. One day they went to a big shopping mall called „Spandau Arkaden“, in order to record the background and shopping noises, needed for the Play.

After that, they chose songs, that would fit the story. Most songs were produced by the kids, only the beginning song was faded in.

Now it was finally time to record all the dialogues and texts. With the help of a computer expert, Mr Dachrodt, the children then mixed and edited the sound and audio tracks and finalized their piece of art.

The last step was burning it onto CDs. All children took part in the project and were extremly proud of the outcome! It was a fascinating and very succesful project!!!

Rading project number 5: Author reading with Boris Pfeiffer

On Wednesday, April 6th our fifth reading project took place: The popular childrens book writer Boris Pfeiffer came to our school. At first he presented his different books and donated a couple of signed books to our library.

After a short conversation he read the book: “The wild pack” to the kids.
The pupils from Year 3 to 5 and also teachers and reading tutors were very thrilled and listened with excitement. Mr. Pfeiffer stopped reading every now and then to activate and include the audience, let them make suggestions or solve a mystery. After 45 minutes of reading the pupils had the opportunity to ask questions and get honest answers and of course everybody ligned up to get an autograph.

A few days after the reading all the books written by Boris Pfeiffer were borrowed from our library and the kids read them eagerly. Some children even went to a bookstore to buy some more books. As some of the book settings take place in Berlin and the children know these places, they were highly motivated and exited.

Mr. Pfeiffer promised to come back next year and to present a new book and maybe we can get other authors to come and read to us as well!

Reading project number 6: Reading day

 On the 27th of June 2016 we had our last whole school reading project for this school year. It takes place very year with another theme or genre. This years topic was: Poems. The teachers of the year groups decided together for the following poems:

  • Years 1 and 2: „Sommerzeit“ from Monika Rieger
  • Years 3 and 4: „Herr Ribbeck von Ribbeck im Havelland“ from Theodor Fontane
  • Years 5 and 6: „Der Zauberlehrling“ from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Each class teacher had the freedom to choose an approach how to deal with he poem and to be creative with it. As the project went on all day, most classes started by reading and discussing the poem and then got creative.

So in the classrooms and hallways the children were busy rehearsing raps, songs or dances related to the poems. Some made comics, drew picture stories, created a poem cinema or a shoe box cinema or acted out the poem. It was lovely to see how much effort they all put into their work and how much fun they had.

During the last lesson of the day, the kids gathered together and presented to the others what they had done and rehearsed before.  It was a pleasure to watch the different and well prepared presentations and the proud children.

Reading project number 7: magazines in schools

 In order to show the children that reading is also an extracurricular pleasure, we decided to apply for a magazine project from a foundation called “Stiftung Lesen”. In collaboration with big publishing houses the foundation’s aim is to motivate kids for reading by offering multiple magazines like science magazines for kids such as Geolino or sport magazines such as Just kick it!

 As expected, the kids were enthusiastic about all the different magazines. In the beginning everyone just read the magazine which attracted him or her most. In order to inform other kids in our school about our magazines we made posters with the main information about the different magazines. So everyone can choose the right one for his or her interests. We did not only read interesting articles, we also gathered information about the basic structure of magazines.

The children had lots of fun and extremly enjoyed this project!

Reading project Number 8- Rading in the hallways

In September 2016 the pupils of my class 4b participated in another reading project. It was a four hour long project with the title: „Reading outside“. Unfortunately the weather was very bad and it was raining all day so I improvised and named the project instead: „Reading in the hallway.“

I had chosen a german-english kids magazine called: „Lux“ in which you can read short texts about animals, the weather, experiments and riddles.

The children had brought in towels and blankets in order to get cosy and comfortable while reading.

As a motivating introduction I read a story to the kids. Then they could chose a magazine and started reading. After reading for quite a while they had to answer a few questions about their magazines. The children could all keep their magazine and take it home and hopefully they will continue reading it at home…

Wotzka (classteacher)

Reading project Number 9: Lasse Maja Das Schulgeheimnis – Martin Widmark done by G 5 Bärenklasse – year 1 and 2

Within the framework of our Erasmus + Project „Read to succeed“ the „bear group“ did another reading project. This time it was about a swedish children’s book written by Martin Widmark with the name: „LasseMaja- the school mystery“.
First we visited the „Nordic Embassies“ in Berlin. In the embassy there was a lovely exibition about swedish children’s books. The motto was: cheeky, wild and wonderful.
After a short introduction, the children got to examine and explore the exhibiton. There weren’t just books but also walk through scenes from different books with lots of things to discover.
After a thorough inspection we all met in the caravan and listened to the first paragraph of the book: LasseMaja- the school mystery. Following, we guessed how the money faking person could look like and started our quest.
Back at school we dealt with the whole book, read it together and answered questions to the chapters. In the end, we decided in small groups which scenes of the book we were going to „remodel“. You can see the results of our project here:

Reading project Number 10 – Reading project: Karsten Teich

In preparation for the author’s and illustrator’s visit the children of G1 (Year 1 and 2) looked at different books written and illustrated by Karsten Teich. They had time to read and discover the books and all the pictures. Then we choose a book, that we wanted to read together. Our choice was: „Cowboy Klaus und das Schwein Lisa“ – which is the first of the „Cowboy Klaus“ serie.
Sometimes the teacher read to the pupils, sometimes the children read to their classmates. We worked in teams, so the children who cannnot read as well as the others weren’t left out. During the reading process we discussed what had happened in the book. After finishing the book, we drew some cowboy pictures and made a 3-D cowboy village out of paper.
The higlight of the project was the visit of the famous author Karsten Teich. He held 2 lectures, for all the six Year 1/2 groups. He brought along a guitar and sang with the children. He illustrated some pictures and each Yeargroup received one drawing for their classroom. Some of Mr. Teichs stories were made into cartoon movies and shown on TV. So we got to enjoy one of his favorite films. After the lecture the children had a chance to buy some of Mr. Teichs books and get them signed. Most children took advantage of this opportunity. They started reading their purchased book immediately and were very happy about the personal illustration and signature. Overall, the project was lots of fun for the pupils as well as the teachers and will be remembered for sure.

Julia Saadi, classteacher of G1