Years 1 & 2 OR Picture Books


Term 2 Picture Book for #NZReadaloud:

house that grew

We went back to school this week in New Zealand after a bizarre few weeks. We have tried remote learning for a bit with varying success. If you are like me, some days have gone well, some not so. Heck, some hours and minutes have gone well, and some not. It’s been a rollercoaster of teaching emotions. I felt a bit like a newbie teacher again. How about you? But, it is important that we tried, and we keep trying. That is teaching and learning.

I sent out some stuff on my Facebook #NZReadaloud Year 1/2 & Picture book people group prior to the beginning of Term 2 about using our picture book this term in your classes. The book is The House that Grew, and can be found here: The Children’s Library It is available solely online, unless you are lucky enough to own a copy, or can find a copy in your school or local library. I have a list of ideas for different activities you can do with this book here: Ideas Document. There are lots of sharing options. It is a really great NZ book.

The great news is, there is still time to take part in this term’s read aloud. We have several more weeks of Term 2! Yay! We run this group fairly informally; you choose when you join in, you choose what activities you do (with your students), and you choose what you share with everyone else (please share lots!).


Things-in-the-sea-are-touching-me_HR-small This delightful picture book is our choice for Term 1, 2020’s #NZreadaloud. Perfect choice for a Summer term with scope for investigating the natural world and also confronting our fears! I hope you will join us.

As is the new norm, you can join in on any week or weeks in Term 1 and this is not restricted to Year 1 and 2, although, I do have to say that this text is more suited to juniors in my opinion. I recommend reading the books first to see if it will suit you and your students’ needs and interests.

Email me at for more information to to join up. And/or join the facebook group: I will post information there but am also happy to email you if you would like. I am away from NZ till the late February, so please have patience if I don’t respond straight away. I will keep up with things from overseas as much as I can.

Enjoy the rest of the break folks!



4.7.19 Arohas-way

I am very pleased to let everyone know that our Term 3 book for #NZReadaloud is Aroha’s Way, a brand new picture book from Craig Phillips. It is a book that deals with anxiety in children and the ways that it can be dealt with. It has some excellent practical ways for students to overcome and manage their anxiety, which will be valuable for many of our students.

If you would like to be involved, please get in touch! Email me at or join the facebook group:

You can purchase the book from

Looking forward to this one! (I say that every time…)




Author study – Vasanti Unka


This term, Term 2, 2019, we will be reading books by Vasanti Unka. She has written a few books for children, illustrated many more (including some stories in Junior and School Journals – look out for those!), and even craft books.

We will be concentrating these three books she has written –

Stripes, No, Spots! stripes no

Who Stole the Rainbow?stole rainbow and

The Boring Bookboooring

All these books have interesting opportunities for exploration and particularly for writing and art ideas. Although they are the ones we are focused on, we welcome any other work by Vasanti Unka you might like to investigate with your class.

No set week seemed to work well last term, so again, there will be no set week for our Picture Book Read Aloud – join in when it suits you best. I am also open to any year level. I know that picture books can be great for all year levels and can also be a lovely introduction to a connected read aloud like this. I will be running this term’s readaloud from a facebook group – join it via this link:

(If I haven’t got that link right, you can search for the group:

#NZreadaloud – Year 1/2 & Picture Book People)

If you would prefer email updates and support from me to join in, please email me on I will be posting ways to join in via the group, such as flipgrid and padlet links and ideas for activities.

I’m looking forward to this one!




…by Sacha Cotter.

That will be Term 1, 2019’s read aloud for the picture book study.

It is an awesome book – cool illustrations & a great message of growth mindset and doing things your own way. Also great for a Summer term. I can imagine some cool inquiries with this one.

I’m planning something a little different this term – there will be no set week for the Readaloud – you and your class can read it (and re-read it) whenever and simply post the activities you do and discussions you have etc when you do. I’m hoping that might make things a little easier for us all in the busy first term.

I will supply some ideas for working with the book in a week or so, as well as some sharing platforms for us all.

I don’t think this book is limited to year 1 & 2, so if you are working with a different year level, please feel free to add it into your plan for this term. It would also be a great easy starter or add on to connected literacy.

If you would like to join us or need more information, please email me: Enjoy your last few days of break!the-bomb

Tuesday 23rd of January – #NZReadaloud10

This term we will be doing a short author study of books written, illustrated, or both, by…


His books are virtually a New Zealand institution as he has been active for a long time! They are cleverly written and gorgeously illustrated. I can see many great artworks and stories and conversations and investigations inspired by them.

We will start of the 26th of February – Week 5 of school and continue into Week 6. You have free choice of the books from Gavin that you read over those weeks, but I do ask that you make sure you post on the blog a minimum of 4 to 6 times so that we can all enjoy the work you students do.

I will send out further information closer to the time – some rough plans and access to the blogger site for us to post our work. If you have any other ideas for sharing our work together, please let me know, new ideas are always welcome.

Sign up on this google form – Sign up here. Let me know if there are any issues or questions arising.

Kia ora koutou!

Thursday 3rd of August – #NZreadaloud9 

hello bitMy name is Belinda Whyte and I am the Resource Teacher of Literacy in the Horowhenua. Along with Ximena, I will be guiding you in this journey for the Year 1&2 #NZreadaloud this term. I’m very excited! 

The book we will be reading is: pepetuna It is a glorious, sophisticated picture book with lots of scope for inquiry and other learning. Here is a description of the book:

From the time a tiny puriri moth’s egg falls onto the forest floor, this book follows the life cycle of that moth – Pepetuna. For five years Pepetuna hides in the puriri tree, eating and sleeping until the time is right. Then one warm spring evening, he pushes a hole through the door of his home. He crawls out with his strong new legs and breathes the fresh air. Then he stretches out his beautiful new wings, ready to fly up into the moonlight . . . for just one night. Through the clever use of illustrations showing the first five years of a young child’s life, the reader can experience the concept of time and how long it takes for Pepetuna to grow and be ready for that single night.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! We will be working together on it in weeks 5 & 6 of this term, using our NZreadaloud blogger site. In order to make sure that we are sharing and collaborating well, we would like it if classes could post to the blog a minimum of 4 to 6 times during the two weeks. We are putting together some suggestions for activities and posts that you could do and will get this to you closer to the time. 

Please sign up via the blog here: NZreadaloudblog

TUESDAY 25th of April- #NZreadaloud8 is ready to roll!

Kia ora koutou,

My name is Ximena Aitken and I team-teach with the wonderful Amy Burt in a year 2 ILE hub at Island Bay School. I’m very excited to join the #NZreadaloud team for #NZreadaloud8. Our students have had a wonderful time sharing their learning and connecting with other kiwi kids across Aotearoa last term and last year.

Our text for this term will be “Daniel’s Matariki Feast” by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington. This will link our #NZreadaloud with Matariki. We expect to run from weeks 7-9 as Matariki begins on Sunday, June 25th (so just before the beginning of week 8). The book is available through Fishpond and most public libraries.

Daniels Matariki Feast

Here’s the description: “Daniel is nervous on his first day of school but through the class activities that mark the Matariki Festival he learns that it is a time of sharing and beginning new friendships. He learns the true importance of Maori New Year. Beautifully illustrated by one of our best-known and award-winning artists.

As you can see, the story taps not only into Matariki but also experiences relevant to our age group. We will be sharing ideas for engaging with the text and its themes in a collaborative Teacher Notes Google Slide, including follow-up activities to celebrate Matariki. Once registrations close (week 4), we will email you the link.

We will be sharing our activities in the #NZreadaloud Year 1-2 Blog so children can comment and share our journeys. Hope you can join us and connect with us through this great book.

Register here:


TUESDAY 24th January – Welcome back to the 2017 school year!

Thank you to those returning and welcome any new NZreadalouders.

Registrations for NZreadaloud are now open. Click here to open the Google form and sign up.

The book selection for Term One is ‘A Summery Saturday Morning’ by Margaret Mahy


This story will provide loads of opportunity for summer holiday sharing, discussion around  the seasons and as always, plenty of language features to unpack. We will begin our read aloud in Week 6 and run for four weeks to the end of Week 9.

For all participants we recommend you join the Facebook Group:

Please get in touch if you have any questions. Once you are registered, I will contact you via email. I look forward to working with you all.

Update – Tuesday 26 July 2016

I trust your term has started well everyone… for those who are yet to connect with us on facebook, our text for #NZreadaloud6 (term 3) is ‘A Booming in the Night’ by Ben Brown. Get a copy of the text and we’ll be in touch with you all real soon! Registrations for this terms read aloud will close at the end of next week, Friday 5th August. See below for registration.


Monday 18 July

Kia ora Koutou

Our text for term 3 is currently being finalised and will be confirmed by the start of term! In the meantime, if you are interested in participating in #NZreadaloud6 please fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you.

For those that are new to #NZreadaloud, the junior team runs a little differently to the other year levels and we will begin our text in week five and run for four weeks to the end of week eight. Those dates are Monday 22nd August – Friday 16th September.

Please get in touch if you have any queries. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please fill in the Google form in order to Register


Thursday 28 April

Welcome back! I hope you have returned feeling refreshed after a well deserved holiday break. As you all know the Yr1&2 #NZreadaloud4 was going to be a journey of discovery. Thank you to all those who participated and made it happen. A special mention and thank you to Ellie and Tina for being our trail blazers!

From feedback received, there has been a suggestion made that rather than having 3 books over the six week time frame, that the Yr1&2 group could perhaps do just 1 book over 2 weeks instead. This will be confirmed as people register but I’m keen to hear your thoughts. The #NZreadaloud5 will begin Monday the 16th of May and finish Friday the 24th of June (Wk 3 – Wk 8).

Please fill in the Google form in order to Register

For all participants we recommend you join the Facebook Group:
For all the information you need about #NZreadaloud go to the blog:
For crowd-sourced examples of tasks which have been used during #NZreadaloud:

If you haven’t yet provided the Team with feedback about your #NZreadaloud4 experiences please take the time to do so now as we would love to find out how we could assist and improve things for you.

Friday the 5th of February

Thank you to all of you who are giving something new a go in your Literacy programme. Registrations have now closed for #NZreadaloud4. If you missed out, please check back here near the end of Term 1 to register early for next term’s texts.

We are still short of Team Leaders so please let me know if you are able to help out as it would make the load easier on all involved.

Team Leaders will have their lists shortly and will be in touch soon after. Please keep in touch with any questions or clarifications required.

Monday 11th January

Wow! The more I’ve looked, the more I’ve read. We have some wonderful children’s literature being written right here in NZ!

It has been super hard choosing a book from those that were suggested, to time spent in the library and on the internet but here they are…

I AM NOT A WORM!  by Scott Tulloch


MELU by Kyle Mewburn

download (1)

KEYS by Sacha Cotter and Josh Morgan


All three books have something different to offer and provide some awesome learning opportunities for our kids to discuss, imagine and create. Topics/themes range from growth mindset, communication, relationships, and the extraordinary from the ordinary, all captured by some wonderful language features which also provide great learning .

If you are wanting to participate in the #NZreadaloud4 please complete the Google Form below and I will be in touch with you all. Depending on the numbers, we will connect our classes via Edmodo groups.

Deadlines to register your class is the 5th of February (end of Week 1) and we will start on the 29th of February (Week 5, Term 1) for 6 weeks.

Please note on the Google Form, the question regarding the choice of either 2 or 3 books over the 6 weeks, will be confirmed with you once your preference becomes clear.

Kiaora Koutou

My name is Kaehlah Dawson and I am a Year 8 teacher at St Patrick’s School in Napier.

I first became involved with #NZreadaloud in term one 2015 and what a fantastic ride it has been! I asked my students today if I should offer the NZreadaloud to my students next year and there was a loud and resounding YES!

Here are some words/phrases that come to mind when I think of the #NZreadaloud:

collaboration, student voice, student choice, discovery, critical thinking, challenge, ‘wall-less’ classroom, fun, connecting… all pretty good stuff I reckon and something I recommend you be a part of!

As you may have already read, we are wanting to cover all year levels in 2016 and we would love to have you on board! I am looking for fantastic picture books by NZ authors for Years 1-2 and would love your suggestions (see form below).

I will be going through your suggestions and selecting a number of books by the 11th of January 2016 – this will allow plenty of time for teachers to source the books, arrange Edmodo group(s), our on-line platform, ask any questions, and have our reading schedule sorted. Remember I will be here to support and guide you along the way! (I was new to Edmodo this year and have found it really user-friendly!)

Deadlines to register your class is the 12th of February (Week 2, Term 1) and we are aiming to start on 29th of February (Week 5, Term 1) for 6 weeks.

I look forward to collaborating with you and your classes in the first #NZreadaloud for Year 1-2 students!

Suggest a book!