Years 7 & 8


I was contacted by author Mary-anne Scott last term with the suggestion to read her book – I am super happy I did!

Here is the book for Term 3


‘There is no doubt there is a fair bit of adrenaline involved in hunting (for females who hunt as well), but Mary-Anne has given us a spot-on portrayal of a teenager who is still learning his space in the world, making this more than just another yarn.’ – – Sarah Forster  ‘This story had no ‘boring bits’ as Wolf came across one challenge after another. Great kiwi lingo and reluctant reader heaven.’ – – Adele Broadbent  ‘It’s a graphic, high-tension, sometimes shocking story that will appeal to boys aged about 12 to 14 who are interested in the idea of testing themselves by going pig-hunting in the wilderness.’ – – Lorraine Orman 

You can read a FULL review on the Sapling Website HERE

The Google Form for registration is below:



Registrations have closed for #NZreadaloud Year 7 / 8 for Term 2.


#NZra11RainFall  will be our Twitter hashtag for this Read Aloud.

Chapter Breakdown

Week 1 (May 21 – 25): Chapter 1 – 5  (40 pages)

Week 2 (May 28 – June 1): Chapter 6 – 9 (30 pages) * Monday = Queen’s Birthday

Week 3 (June 4 – 8): Chapter 10 – 13 (33 pages)

Week 4 (June 11 – 15): Chapter 14 – 17 (34 pages)

Week 5 (June 18 – 22): Chapter 18 – 21 (35 pages)

Week 6 (June 25 – 29): Chapter 22 – end (35 pages)




The Year 7/8 novel for Term 2 is ‘Rain Fall’ by Ella West.

A tense, engaging read that will have you racing through the pages.

I’m not running late like I usually am. Maybe that’s why I look in the river, maybe that’s why I stop when I see it. A dark-coloured raincoat, the arms spread wide, floating, hood-first down the river. 

And then it starts to rain.

Fifteen-year-old Annie needs to get to her basketball match, but the police have cordoned off her road. Is her neighbour, who she grew up with, still alive? What has he done to have the police after him? 

A murder investigation brings new people to Annie’s wild West Coast town, including a dark-haired boy riding the most amazing horse she has ever seen. But Annie is wary of strangers, especially as her world is beginning to crumble around her. In setting out to discover the truth Annie uncovers secrets that could rip the small community apart.

This will be the second book #NZreadaloud will do from Ella West; the first being ‘Night Vision’ which we did back in Term 3 of 2015. ‘Night Vision was a Global Read Aloud contender the following year due to its success with our Year 7/8 readers during #NZreadaloud.

You can read more about our author here.




So the Term is nearing its end and so is #NZra10Aotearoa.

It was a risk attempting an across level text and also a risk selecting a non-fiction. Definitely some success along with some frustrations. But that is what keeps us fresh and excited because we can look for ways to solve the problems and reflect on the incredible learning which happened as well.

The book is GRAND (as one of my students described it on the very first day I held it in my hands ready to read). We used this word every time we sat down with it after this! The book has provided my learners with all their own inquiry topics this term – and that has been amazing. The learning which has come from this text has been mind-blowing.

To my connected classes – I apologise that we didn’t connect very often. Term 1 is always a struggle and especially if you are having to teach digital citizenship before you dive into platforms like Edmodo and Twitter. This has been my saddest regret from this term – we didn’t connect as I had hoped. No ones fault – it was just tricky (failures in technology was the cause of one attempt).

I am not going to dwell on that though as the immense learning which came from this text outweighs this. We have all learnt SO much.

I am adding here two #booksnaps that have been completed so far. A cool little ‘summary’ activity that my kids love. I also have a learner putting together a Kahoot of questions – one from each student in the class. I have added an example of a learner’s connection (posted in Edmodo) with a part of the book, a screenshot of the beginning of a piece of argument writing which one of my boys is in the process of completing, and a Seesaw post done by another sharing his connection to the particular page we did that day.

This is the learning which has all come from this GRAND book.

The kids are also completing personal inquiries as well. I will post some in the Facebook Group once completed.



Registrations have closed for ‘The House That Jack Built’.


I apologise for the delay in getting the Google Form up on the blog for the Year 7 / 8 Picture we are studying for Term 1.

As lots of you will know already, I decided to try something new this Term. After 3 years of novels I felt the need to see how a non-fiction text would go down – then on top of that decision – decided to make it ‘across year group’ as well. To let you know, we have classes from Year 1 through to Year 10 who have registered to study ‘Aotearoa’ by Gavin Bishop. Pretty cool!

The book I have selected to study for #NZreadaloud10 for Year 7 / 8 only is ‘The House That Jack Built’ by Gavin Bishop.

Attempting a picture book for Year 7 / 8 is also a gamble but for those of us connecting for the other one, it fits in nicely. If you are signing up for the picture book only – that is all good too. It might mean that #NZreadaloud may not stretch for the ‘normal’ 6 weeks which we usually connect for; although there is so much which can be studied from the book.

Here is a link to a wonderful resource of cross-curricula activities which I am sure will provide some inspiration for topics of study as you read the picture book or after.

This article, which was an easy find when googling the book title, is interesting also. It analyses 6 ‘visual narratives’ – Gavin’s book being one of them.

I think plenty of scope for a 6 week study if you are choosing to participate in only this book – and those of us studying ‘Aotearoa’ as well might have to have some discussions with your team leaders as to where it fits best for you.

Here is the Google Form to sign up … looking forward to connecting as many teachers and kids across Aotearoa (and the world – our staunch American connection Laura Krenicki is signing up once again to expose her students in Connecticut to the early days of New Zealand) for this important kaupapa.



Mid-January and with many queries coming in about #NZreadaloud for this year I decided to get thinking early! Having read a few books over the holiday period I was still no closer to finding that book which would suit Term 1.

So … knowing I was keen to start my year investigating Aotearoa, its history, and my students place in this country I came up with the idea to use ‘Aotearoa’ by Gavin Bishop. The idea was thrown around with some teachers on Twitter who agreed it would be good to change it up a bit and use a non-fiction. I have been thinking about using a non-fiction book for a while and think that the potential this book provides for all our learners to go on their own discoveries is exciting. Not to mention all the learning which can come from sharing/discussion about non-fiction text conventions AND the superb illustrations.

The book is sumptuous.

It will not be difficult to source.

Here is a wonderful article on The Sapling where Donovan Bixley interviews Gavin Bishop.

If you are in the higher Year levels and are keen to integrate curriculum, I also found this maths learning which could sit alongside the literacy aspect.

THEN I started thinking further. What if we make this book an ‘across Year group’ read aloud. After some korero with a couple of teachers, it seemed something which could be worth giving a go.

Time to innovate #NZreadaloud!

What this will look like?

I am really not too sure! But sometimes you just have to go with an idea and sort out the logistics later. I am all for taking some risks!

So jump on board and take a risk with me!

My initial thoughts include buddying classes up in teams of 3 or 4. Within these across year level teams teachers and their classes can collaborate using whatever platforms would suit. I am thinking Flipgrid would be ideal as it can be used easily by children of all ages (if you would like a code for a 45 day free trial of classroom version to investigate in your own class email me:) Of course Padlet is another wonderful collaborative learning space. Edmodo is always there if needed as is Twitter if you have a class account. Many of us have found real time platforms are valuable too – such as Google Hangout, Skype, and Talky. Something I know the Year 1 / 2 teachers have done previously is to start a blog. This part of it will be left up to the teachers in each team – make it work for you!

NOTE: I am still planning on doing a book specifically for Year 7 / 8. There is no obligation to do BOTH – you can choose to do the ‘across level’ book OR the picture book I have selected to do alongside ‘Aotearoa’ (which is another Gavin Bishop book titled The House that Jack Built).  By the way here is a post with a whole bunch of curriculum related ideas. You can purchase from Gecko Press.




TUESDAY 25 July 2017

Registration has closed now for #NZreadaloud9SoL.

Thanks to all the teachers who are joining us in Term 3. Your team leader will be in contact with you by the end of this week or early next week.

Hope you enjoy your connected literacy experience.

Chapter Breakdown

Week 1 (7 – 11 August) Chapters 1 & 2  (41 pages)

Week 2 (14 – 18 August) Chapters 3 & 4  (35 pages)

Week 3 (21 – 25 August) Chapters 5 & 6 (28 pages)

Week 4 (28 – 1 September) Chapters 7 & 8 (32 pages)

Week 5 (4 – 8 September) Chapter 9 ( 24 pages)

Week 6 (11 – 15 September) Chapters 10 & 11 (25 pages)

The book choice for Term 3 is ‘Speed of Light’ by Joy Cowley.THURSDAY 13 JULY 2017

I will add the chapter breakdown over the next few days:)

Gecko Press have produced some book notes you can access here.

You can read a review here.

You can order this book from Gecko Press here.



Thank you for registering for #NZreadaloud8. Registration is now closed.


Here is the book choice for Term 2:

Too Many Secrets by Adele Broadbent.

“Becs is a sassy 12-year-old drama queen who strikes a bargain with her mother. She’ll spend a few months away from home while her new step-family renovates an elegant old house in the country. When it’s sold, some of the money will pay her fees at the same private school that all her friends will be attending. But as usual, she hasn’t listened properly. they aren’t going to live in the old mansion – they’ll be in a shack in the bush, with long drops and eight-legged wildlife. Becs is not impressed and makes sure everyone knows it, that is until she discovers a secret that will change her life. What follows is an intriguing, funny, sad and utterly believable story about friendship, while uncovering a tragic secret that’s been hidden for far too long.”

#NZreadaloud8TMS will start in Week 3 of Term 2 and will run for 6 weeks.

These dates are: Monday 15th May – Friday 23rd June.

Here is the Chapter breakdown:

Week 1 (15 – 19 May): Chapter 1 – 10 (33 pages)

Week 2 (22 – 26 May): Chapter 11 – 25 (30 pages)

Week 3 (29 – 2 June): Chapter 26 – 43 (34 pages)

Week 4 (5 – 9 June): Chapter 44 – 63 (31 pages)

Week 5 (12 – 16 June): Chapter 64 – 78 (30 pages)

Week 6 (19 – 23 June): Chapter 79 – end ( 30 pages)




Google Form is closed folks!

Thankyou to EVERYONE who has registered for #NZreadaloud7 – there are 90 classes at the final check!


You will be contacted by your team leader over the next week. Your job till then is to get on Edmodo with your class so you are ready to rock ‘n’ roll:)


Welcome to #NZreadaloud7

I have selected “An Unexpected Hero” by L.P.Hansen for our first read aloud of 2017.

An easy to read story which I think is perfect for the beginning of the year. It has themes of city / country, friendship, family, bullying, standing up for what you believe in, determination … loads of great stuff for discussion especially at the beginning of the year. It also has potential for student inquiry into heros, war time, pacifism, bullying, ‘conscientious objection’ (International Conscientious Objection Day 15th may every year), making speeches and more.


#NZreadaloud7 will run from Week 4 (20-24 February) through to Week 9 27-31 March) of Term 1.

Week 1 – Chapters 1 and 2 (32 pages)

Week 2 – Chapters 3 and 4 (21 pages)

Week 3 – Chapters 5 and 6 (20 pages)

Week 4 – Chapters 7 and 8 (29 pages)

Week 5 – Chapters 9, 10 and 11 (25 pages)

Week 6 – Chapter 12 (12 pages) and final collaborative activities

WEDNESDAY 27th July 2016

Time is up!

I am now in the process of putting the teams together for a Week 3 start.

Thank you to all the teachers who have registered.

I will be in touch SOON!

FRIDAY 15th July 2016

The book for #NZreadaloud6 is

The Ghosts of Tarawera bu Sue Copsey.

You can go here to read about Sue and her work as an author.

If you would like to connect with Sue via Twitter, her handle is @suecopsey 

We will start Week 3 of Term – Monday 8th August – and run through to Week 8 – Friday 16th September.

CHAPTER BREAKDOWN will go like this:

Week 1: Chapters 1 – 3 (46 pages)

Week 2: Chapters 4 – 7 (38 pages)

Week 3: Chapters 8 – 11 (42 pages)

Week 4: Chapters 12 – 14 (33 pages)

Week 5: Chapters 15 – 17 (36 pages)

Week 6: Chapters 18 – end (41 pages)


SUNDAY 8th May 2016

Registrations have closed now for #NZreadaloud5.

Thanks to teachers who are returning for more and welcome to all the teachers who are giving this a go for the first time:)

We hope you enjoy ‘connected literacy’ as much as we do!

TUESDAY 19th April 2016

The book which has been selected for Term 2 which will be #NZreadaloud5 is

Phantom of Terawhiti by Des Hunt.

“An action-packed adventure story from master storyteller Des Hunt. It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild southwest coast. Then Zac and his dad witness a boat sink during a storm….”

Our Twitter hashtag will be #NZreadaloud5PoT


Chapter breakdown will be up by Friday 29th April.

#NZreadaloud5 will run from Monday 16th May for 6 weeks finishing Friday 24th June. This is Week 3 – Week 8 of Term.

The Chapter breakdown goes like this:

Week 1 (Monday 16th May) Chapters 1 – 4 (38 pages)

Week 2 (Monday 23rd May) Chapters 5 – 9 (39 pages)

Week 3 (Monday 30th May) Chapters 10 – 15 (49 pages)

Week 4 (Monday 6th June) Chapters 16 – 21 (42 pages)

Week 5 (Monday 13th June) Chapters 22 – 26 (44 pages)

Week 6 (20th June) Chapters 27 – 33 (39 pages)


FRIDAY 5th February

WOW… thank you to everyone who have signed up for #NZreadaloud4. There are 90 of us altogether!

Good on you for giving something new a go! Like I have said on this blog, I agree with Pernille Ripp when she says “this is the future of literacy”.

If you have missed out this time – please check back at the end of Term 1 to see the selection for Term 2 and get the Google Form filled in early:)

I will contact team leaders shortly and share the teams for Term 1.


MONDAY 11th January

Okay… I have read quite a few novels over the first 3 weeks of the holidays!

There are many wonderful authors out there writing great kiwi novels for our kiwi kids!

After much deliberation I have selected



Although Juggling with Mandarins was first published in 2003, this ‘coming of age’ novel has MANY valuable themes worthy of deeper discussion. I would like to thank Zaana Cooper from St. Peter’s School in Cambridge for the recommendation. Having read 6 novels over the first 3 weeks of the holidays, this one resonated with me as perfect for ‘beginning of the year’ with its themes of difference, Growth Mindset, being true to yourself, self-belief, family issues, and relationships.

If you are keen to participate in #NZreadaloud4JWM 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 Friday 5th of February (end of Week 1) and we will start on 29th of February (Week 5, Term 1) for 6 weeks.

The break down of Chapters is as follows:

Week 1 (29 Feb. – 4 March)             Pages 1 – 47            (47 pages)

Week 2 (7 – 11 March)                     Pages 48 – 90          (42 pages)

Week 3 (14 – 18 March)                   Pages 91 – 128        (39 pages)

Week 4 (21 – 25 March)                   Pages 129 – 167      (39 pages)

Week 5 (28 March – 1 April)             Pages 168 – 212      (44 pages)

Week 6 (4 – 8 April)                          Pages 213 – 255      (42 pages)




Kia ora koutou

Ko Kerri Thompson tōku ingoa

Nō Ahitereiria ahau

Kei Heretaunga tōku kāinga

WELCOME to the page for Year 7 & 8 teachers participating in #NZreadaloud.

After 3 #NZreadalouds this year I am even more convinced this IS the future of literacy. As Pernille Ripp puts forward in this blog post, I agree that the future of literacy will center around these 5 themes:

  • (Global) collaboration
  • Meaningful integration of technology
  • Student voice and choice
  • Authentic purpose and audience
  • Personalising learning for the kids in front of us

During the 3 #NZreadalouds this year – we saw first-hand these things happening in our classroom AND we saw the engagement and involvement of our learners in, not only reading tasks, but other authentic learning experiences which were a direct result of student led inquiry coming from themes / topics in the books which THEY wanted to know more about. It has been REALLY exciting.

The feedback from teachers and students is also wonderful to read – you can check out what they are saying on the tabs on the blog.

2016 sees #NZreadaloud expand to all other Year groups in the Primary sector AND more recently Year 9 / 10. This is thanks to three fellow #NZreadaloud enthusiasts who have put their hands up to ‘take it on’ AND after a meeting with Karen Wilson (AKA @kaiakowilson) #NZreadaloud is now open to teachers of Year 9 / 10 kids. This is a REALLY exciting addition.

I am on the look out for a ‘special’ book written by a New Zealand author for our Year 7 / 8 students. Read aloud’s are a specific type of book I feel – they need to be of a reasonable length (too long and it could drag),  it needs to have protagonists who our kids can relate to (similar age), it MUST have some action, suspense, twists and turns, AND it ideally will have some themes and topics which could provide opportunity for further research / inquiry!