Author Archives: Library

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It’s Horror Time!

Students in the Middle School and Centenary Libraries have been exploring the horror genre this term. They have been reading horror stories, listening to horror stories, writing horror haiku, engaging with horror-based activities and much more.

A highlight was the STEM session which was collaboratively planned with teachers from the Science Department. Boys played with bat slime, made dancing ghosts, and had fun making creepy horror noises with dry ice.

As boys always love to create (and eat) food, we also decided to make marshmallow monster pops with chocolate and decorations.

A number of competitions were run across various year levels: a short story, a haiku and a film trailer. This certainly brought out the creative side of our students.

Showing a horror film was mandatory and we chose Coraline. Although many boys had seen it before, they still sat spellbound through lunchtimes as Coraline faced the dangers in her new house.

One student even brought in his giant snails to share in his library, feeling they were appropriately “horrible” to suit the theme!

Our final activity was a demonstration of applying zombie make-up to one of our teachers, Mrs Gardner. Arana Wright, a recent graduate of a special effects course, came in and showed how to make a simple, but extremely effective, zombie look. This was entertaining for participants and the audience alike, with Mrs Gardner being most reluctant to remove the make-up once it was done! Arana also ran a workshop with a small group of boys to show them how to use latex to create fake wounds which look very real and scary.


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Middle School Book Fair

This week, the Middle School Library hosted its annual Book Fair. Boys were eager to come along and see what was on offer. Many books and other fun items were purchased. Thanks to the many students, staff and parents who have made purchases, and to Vicki Palmer, who is the driving force behind all Middle School library events. We appreciate the support of Dymocks Brisbane who had to restock popular items daily and also supplied specially requested books. The Grammar libraries will soon have more new books and we thank the Middle School community for your generosity in supporting this initiative.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss


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Lunchbox Club Wows Visitors

A group of QUT students were welcomed to Lunchbox Club by the boys on Thursday lunchtime. The leader of the group Mr Brendan Kelly, showed the visitors a range of activities that the Lunchbox Club has been engaged in this term, and then followed with an intense review of the new graphic processing capabilities of some familiar software packages.

Visitors and Lunchbox Club members were shown an amazing number of ways to duplicate and reshape objects, how to animate them and how to create stunning visual effects. Many of the regular Lunchbox boys were able to contribute a number of really good options at each stage in the creation process. Naturally, the QUT students were very impressed and enjoyed chatting to the boys afterwards, and we look forward to hosting them again in the future.


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Brisbane Writers Festival 2017

Last Friday Ms Sanderson and Ms Smith took 26 Year 8 students down to the South Bank Cultural Precinct to visit the Brisbane Writers Festival.  The day was full of enthralling authors and fantastic opportunities to purchase books, take photos with inspiring authors and get various items signed.  Below are three submissions from students who attended the excursion and have kindly shared their experiences listening to their author of choice.

Garth Nix:

The first speaker of the day was Garth Nix. Garth developed a love of writing and storytelling from a very young age, writing his first book when he was nine. He has since written many fantasy books including the bestseller ‘Sabriel’. Garth was also an incredible storyteller, sharing a story of a ring, which he supposedly found atop a mountain in Persia. Although the story turned out to be untrue, he showed us how exciting storytelling skills and a bit of creativity can make for a great story. He also talked about the importance of persistence for aspiring writers. Garth said his first published book sold quite a few copies but did not change his life. He then continued to write a second book, which all of his publishers refused. He said he could have given up after those two books, but instead kept going and eventually wrote a best seller. Garth’s inspiring messages were a fantastic start to the Brisbane Writers Festival, which was then continued by two more incredible writers, Steven Herrick and Mark Smith.

Harry. AW

Steven Herrick:

On September 8th, 27 lucky grammar boys were able to listen to 3 different authors speak on their experiences. During the 2nd presentation, a poet called Steven Herrick presented on Developing Character. While the presentation wasn’t just about ‘Developing Character’, it was a fun time which explored many other elements of poetry. I’m sure everyone there could agree he brought a lot of fun to his session. He read poems, told stories, all while involving the audience during the whole presentation. He taught us about 2 different styles of poetry, a list poem, which lists off things about a certain subject, and a refrain poem, in which each line starts with the same word. After the lesson on poetry he read some more poems and answered our questions. Most people would easily tell you Steven Herrick’s presentation was definitely a highlight of the event.

Tom. S 

Mark Smith: 

The final speaker of the day was Mark Smith. He runs an outdoor education campus for a large Melbourne Boy’s School. His love of reading came about after a freak horse riding accident where he broke his neck, wrists and many other bones. Surprisingly, he is alive and walking. Since he was bed bound and bored, his mum gave him books, sparking his love of reading which is why he began writing. His two novels, ‘The Road to Winter’ and ‘Wilder Country’ are two dystopian novels in his ‘Winter’ trilogy and have gone on to win numerous awards including appearing in ‘Best Australian Stories’. He talked about how to create a dystopia in a novel, saying you should ask yourself questions such as ‘what has gone wrong?’, ‘how do your characters survive?’ and ‘how far into the future is this?’. Overall, interesting stories and great tips for writing ensured Mark Smith ended the Brisbane Writers Festival on a high note.

Tom. MJ

 


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Father’s Day Coaster Crafting

To celebrate Father’s Day, students in the Centenary Library were given the opportunity to participate in a craft activity; a gift that could be given to their father over the weekend.  Year 7 & 8 boys were asked to bring in 3 to 4 family photos or other pictures they think thought Dad might like and were then given the task of turning these into beautiful drink coasters.  This activity required students to paste their photos onto pre-cut pieces of cork and then coat the coaster in varnish so that it would not be ruined by a hot or cold drink.

Running over two lunch times, this activity created some lovely conversation about family life and explanations about the photos being used while also encouraging students to explore their creative side.  Presents were then wrapped in cellophane and taken home to proudly give to fathers on Sunday where they would take pride of place around tables and lounges in Brisbane and beyond. A big thank you to all who participated and especially to Mr Hill and Mr Kelly who took time out of their day to help out and supplied materials to make this activity possible.


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Legendary 12 Author Visit

Our students were offered the amazing opportunity to attend a session with local author Son Bac Ngo. Son has published three books so far in his Legendary 12 series. The first book, in a picture book format, explains how the animals of the Chinese zodiac came to be. The remaining books are graphic novels, each one focusing on an individual animal. Mus Mouse and Ole Ox are already available and keenly read by our boys. The next instalment is due soon.

Son spoke about reading his first comic book on arrival in Australia as a young Vietnamese refugee and how he loved the great adventures of Superman, but also used the graphic format to help him learn English. This experience led to a life long love of comics and  became the inspiration for creating his own series.

Son is a parent of two boys currently enrolled here at Brisbane Grammar School. For Jag and Eagle, the visit was a unique opportunity to see their father in his professional role as an author. The audience was thoroughly entertained and enthralled by Son’s own personal story as well as his journey as a writer. We truly appreciate the time and effort from Son and his wife, Thuy, in supporting reading  for our boys and providing a chance to meet a real-life author.


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Magnificent Manga

Pikachu, Genga and Wobbuffet have been special guests in our Middle School Libraries in Term 3 with the exciting world of manga becoming our special focus.

Each week in the term we have offered different activities run by our Library staff during lunchtimes. These certainly generated extra interest in the theme. Primarily focussed on boys in Years 5-8, we did offer two opportunities for the entire student body to be involved.

We began with a pop-up bookstore. All students (years 5-12) were invited to come and peruse a selection of books which were provided by Zombster, a manga and anime specialist store here in Brisbane. Boys were able to nominate the titles that looked interesting to them and we purchased a number of these. This was a great way of involving student voice in the selection of titles for our collection and the books were processed as quickly as possible to maintain the momentum the store generated.

Over the course of the term, boys have competed for Pokemon prizes via Kahoots, learnt how to draw manga, created dragons, watched anime movies and even created Pokemon cookies. Papercraft Pikachus have also been created and carried home proudly. Our Years 7 and 8 Library ran a Grumpy Cat in Manga competition which allowed boys to create a new scenario for the mascot digitally or on paper. We also ran a Pokemon hunt with augmented reality which was a huge hit.

We were not just limited to manga and we broadened the focus to encourage boys to read graphic novels as well.

We are fortunate to have a parent who is currently writing a series of graphic novels based on the Chinese zodiac. Called the Legendary 12, the initial picture book explains the origin of the animals and each subsequent graphic novel tells the story of one of these animals and their adventures as they seek to recover missing diamonds. Son Bac Ngo visited this week to speak to an audience of boys from Years 5-12, all of whom are interested either in manga as a genre or in the art form or simply in the stories themselves.

This focus on manga has certainly increased the interest in this genre in our Middle School libraries. Boys who were already keen readers have appreciated the new titles on offer and those who had not read any previously have enjoyed the new experience.

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Plastic Free at Centenary!

 

Science Week has continued on at Brisbane Grammar School’s Centenary Library, thanks to Library Student Volunteer Ms Teneale Muir.  

 

Starting four weeks ago,  Teneale has worked in all three Brisbane Grammar libraries as part of her university studies placement.  During this time, Teneale has created a Plastic Free theme in the Centenary Library by making a wall display detailing the effects of plastic on our planet, a dragon out of recycled plastic to add to the Fantasy theme currently running in the library, and lastly, running a workshop on reusing plastic rubbish, teaching the boys how to make a phone holder using a plastic bottle.  Students were given all the materials required and enjoyed being able to not only  create something that would hold their phone and lead but also help with reducing waste.

 

Ms Muir has always tried her best to recycle or reuse rubbish where possible.  After watching the ABC’s War On Waste series recently, her knowledge on what plastic is doing to the planet changed, along with some of her family’s rubbish removal habits.  For example, her three year old now knows what soft plastics are and to put them in a separate bin.  These go to their local Woolworths to be recycled rather than go to landfill.  Teneale enjoyed implementing the Plastic Free theme into the Centenary Library for National Science Week’s Future Earth theme, and hopes it provides students with an insight on what plastic is doing to our Earth.

Ms Muir will be finishing her field placement this week, and has thoroughly enjoyed her visit at Brisbane Grammar School.

 


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Library Thing for Libraries

LibraryThing is a great way to keep details of what you have in your own library, or of the books you have read or want to read. I have been a member since 2007, and have 173 of my own books listed.

It is so easy to navigate, I only needed to add the ISBNs of my books into the site and all the details of the books appeared. I am able to see other lists and can join book discussions; there are even free books and member giveaways.

I have so many books I still want to read that I will soon be starting a new list on LibraryThing of ‘Books to Read’.

In our school LibraryThing is linked to the catalogue so students can find book reviews or see similar titles to books they like to read.

(Bernadette van den Hout, Library Technician)

 


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Year 5s are Savvy Scientists

On Tuesday evening the Year 5 rooms were filled with great names from the past and present. Alexander Fleming, Charles Darwin, Edmund Halley, David Attenborough and even Archimedes were just some of the scientists who came to life courtesy of our youngest boys.

The evening was the culmination of a great deal of work by students and Science teachers Dean Littlefair and Peter Hunter in collaboration with teacher librarian Vicki Palmer. While the Science teachers were able to focus on the science, having a teacher librarian on hand meant that boys were able to learn about accessing information. Skills such as defining a task, using print and digital resources, and correctly citing sources were all taught explicitly. A selection of specialised resources were also made available in the library and on the library website.

At the conclusion of the research phase, boys were required to turn their notes into an autobiography, setting the scene for the evening’s events.

It was a fantastic night with parents clearly impressed with the depth of knowledge shown by the boys. While nerves may have been present at the start, once boys settled in and began to share their life stories, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

David Attenborough (aka Max): “It was really good because everyone dressed up well and was on show. We were all proud to share what we had learned.”

Charles Darwin (aka Will):  “All the adults were asking great questions. It went really quickly and I was able to tell parents of all my great adventures.”