This year’s Literacy and Culture Week marks the 8th year since we started celebrating the event at XLIS. It was wonderful to see how much we evolved every year as we reflect on what we have done in the past years. Our goals remain the same, promoting and fostering a love of reading, building stronger partnerships with our parents and community, and the importance of reinforcing reading at home. Recently, we acknowledged the impact of cultures and emphasized the role of home and family languages in developing literacy skills. Literacy and Culture Week is a great reminder that there are countless strategies we can employ to encourage our students to read and write in an engaging and meaningful way.
At XLIS, we thoughtfully plan the activities in different classes to suit the interests and levels of students. Over the past years, it became a tradition to start the week with Pajama Day across all levels, and Book Character Costume Parade and Mandarin performances to end the week. Buddy reading, creative writing and engaging students in fun activities have been the highlights of the week’s event. It was inspiring to listen to teachers during collaborative meetings as they carefully plan and share ideas on keeping the students engaged while developing an appreciation for reading and writing in a fun way.
Some of the highlights of this year’s celebration:
Our Mandarin Team prepared special performances with our primary 5 & 6 students, non-native and native speakers, and recited poems inspired by poets from ancient China and Kahlil Gibran, a world-known poet from Lebanon. Poetry is central to developing literacy skills in reading as well as oral skills and creativity. Our celebration of Literacy & Culture Week is also to bring awareness of the importance of reading and writing in home and family languages which supports learning as an additional language.
Throughout the week, all classes in the primary did various activities to engage students in reading and writing. Some classes had a picnic in the playground with students reading their favorite book with a friend. Older students read to our little ones during buddy reading in the classroom or at the library. Buddy reading has been one of the favorite activities among the students as our little ones enjoyed listening to older kids. It also provided opportunities for students to interact with others and develop a sense of community. Some teachers were invited to read in class and share stories about cultures in their home country.
Our little ones were busy with the buddy reading and listening to stories with their teddies throughout the week. The highlight on Wednesday was the Crazy Hat Day, and the students had a parade around the school. What makes this year special is the participation of the school community during the ECE-P1 parade on Friday. The school support staff such as cafeteria, maintenance, health center, administration staff, student center, resources, and teachers stood by the hallways to watch our little ones as they proudly showed their book character costumes. It was indeed a demonstration of a sense of community and interconnectedness at XLIS!
In the afternoon, a Book Character Costume parade by all the classes in P2-P6 and P6 A & ECE B1 assemblies. Book characters come to life at XLIS as we end the Literacy & Culture Week celebration!
Click here for the video of PYP Literacy & Culture Week
Author: Maria Theresa Zialcita (PYP Coordinator & Primary EAL Teacher)