Using Your Local Library

Using Your Local Library

By Saba Hakim

Yesterday at our local library, Eassa, along with a group of other primary aged children, was writing instructions for a robot to make a jam sandwich. The robot was our library events presenter in disguise— wearing a cardboard costume.

The session started with an explanation of the task, and direction to write instructions. Some children chose to work together, others worked individually. It took the children ten minutes to write down their instructions of ‘How to Make a Jam Sandwich’.

The robot assistant collected the written instructions and read out each one in turn. The robot performed as instructed. One set of instructions started with ‘place knife in jam jar’. The children roared with laughter as our robot dug the knife into the closed jam container. Another set of instructions mentioned the jar lid, but failed to mention the butter knife. Here, the robot opened the jar and scooped out the jam with his fingers. ‘Ewwwww!’ cried the children in disgust. They laughed and rolled on the floor.

The children had a second go at writing instructions for our now sticky robot. They made sure to include directions to ‘open the jar lid’ and ‘pick up butter knife’.

The sandwich making session was a great success and focused on sequential logical instruction writing, analysing and problem solving. There was teamwork, English writing and reading, as well as loads of fun.

My son Eassa is eight years old. He loves new challenges and interacting with peers. I am constantly on the lookout for free and low cost meaningful learning experiences. Our local library in Manningham has been an important part of Eassa’s learning journey. Aside from the broad range of books it offers, the library has useful hands-on workshops including Lego building, coding and Makedo cardboard building, and interesting guest speakers.

The photos feature Auntie Cassie teaching us about traditional Indigenous use of Native herbs and plants. She taught us that Banksia flowers are great hair brushes. We now have a new use for our lovely Banksia tree. The sessions encourage team work too. Eassa loves watching what other children come up with. It has helped him to grow in new ways, and overcome his shyness. For me, as Eassa’s learning facilitator, I find that a one-hour session at the library leads us to new interests, experiences, and great ideas for an entire study unit at home.

What part does your library play in your child’s home learning journey? Does your library offer workshops and are they relevant to you? If not, then it might be a good idea to have a chat with the librarians. I often catch up with our librarians to give them feedback and suggestions and they have been supportive and kind.

Otherways 177 August 2023

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