January 15

Core Competencies and Digital Citizenship: Screen time

Here’s a handy list of book titles that can help launch discussions about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to screen time. Linked images and extension activities. Synopsis provided by the publishers.

Dot’s a spunky little girl well versed in electronic devices. Dot knows a lot. She knows how to tap . . . to swipe . . . to share . . . and she pays little attention to anything else, until one day Dot sets off on an interactive adventure with the world surrounding her. Dot’s tech-savvy expertise, mingled with her resourceful imagination, proves Dot really does know lots and lots. Ironically, there is a little video series to accompany the book.


After the star of this story gets her brother’s hand-me-down camera-phone and a quick lesson in the “selfie,” there is no stopping her! Until, that is, it’s time to call it a day. Turns out, camera-phones and kids alike need to recharge their batteries! Here’s a great ‘Selfie’ Digital Citizenship follow up activity.


Nerdy Birdy and his best friend, Vulture, are very different. Luckily, you don’t have to agree on everything to still be friends.One day, Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster, and the friend requests start flying in. Vulture watches as Nerdy Birdy gets swept up in his new friendships… Discuss this twitter conversation between the author and the illustrator.


One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, “Mommm!” His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can’t work on her computer, and Dad can’t finish cooking dinner. What’s a family to do?  Follow up activities.


When Popcorn, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks Farm, finds a forgotten smartphone in the barn, she sets about making some brand new friends. Soon she is so busy sending messages to them that she begins to forget her old friends. Discussion questions.


In a story recounted through the daily log of Captain Allan Hope, the sailors aboard the Rita Anne become mesmerized and transformed by a mysterious glowing rock, and only music and books can restore them to normal. Teachers Guide also available.


Todd’s parents are always busy. But Todd’s TV isn’t busy. It just sits there. So one day, Todd’s TV decides to lend a helping hand. This is the heartwarming story of that day, and what happened afterward. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry—but most of all, you’ll be giving your TV a break.


Ella is really frustrated. Lately it seems like the whole family has forgotten how to be together. Instead of playing Hangman and making waffles, everyone is talking on cell phones, playing video games, and using the computer. What’s a girl to do?


An oldie but a goodie. In this updated version of the popular turn off TV book, the mouse family is up at night, glued to the TV. But there is many a squeaky squabble because all ten mice favor different channels. History, mystery, how-to, where-to, comedy, drama, sports … This viewer-friendly romp shows how, one night, they all get happy with new favorites they’d hardly imagined.

Indigenous Connections: Many Indigenous stories have themes of connecting with family and nature and would work well to compliment this topic. Some that come to mind are Jordan Wheeler’s Just A Walk about the joy of exploring outdoors,  Susan Avingag’s Fishing with Grandma about the importance of learning from family,  Monique Gray Smith’s You Hold Me Up about the power of relationships and Raven Tales’ Work and Play about doing chores before free time.

The above titles are all available in the Vanier LC. Here are some other titles that may be of interest: Chicken-Clicking by Jeanne Willis, Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell, and Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino.












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September 14

Creating a Core Competency Kindness Quilt

As part of our start up Kindness theme, students in the Learning Commons thought about how to be kind and created a display to share their ideas. some classes used Doodle Buddy app to show their thinking.

Origami paper from the Dollar Store made for easy display.

Grade 2 student gives a refresher tutorial on the features of the app.

Our Kindness ideas inspired by The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace


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September 10

Resources to promote discussion about Residential Schools #OrangeShirtDay

Our current resources to support discussion of Residential Schools in Canada. Synopsis provided by the publisher. Full list of Indigenous resources here.

The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

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August 23

Resources for Discussing Social Justice in the Classroom

As we head back to school, it seems timely to share some important resources for generating classroom discussion on Social Justice and Empathy.

Titles cover topics ranging from discrimination, racism, human rights, diversity, gender identity, poverty, religion, refugees, residential schools, the differently abled.

Not an exhaustive list, these print titles are currently available in the Vanier collection. There are also eBooks available via the library catalogue.

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged – Jody Warner

Giant Steps to Change the World – Spike Lee

I have the Right to be a Child – Alain Serres

Across the Alley- Richard Michelson

The Secret of the Dance- Andrea Spalding

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April 20

Inclusive Resources to Celebrate Diverse Families

As we celebrate including all students in class themes and activities, it is important to recognize and incorporate resources that reflect our student’s diverse families and caregivers. Here’s a list of just some of the titles available at Georges Vanier that we find useful around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Family:

Diverse Families:

All Families are Special – N. Simon

Families – S. Rotner

Families, Families, Families – S. Lang

That’s My Mom – H. Barkow

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March 30

Superimpose: Making Venetian Connections

We began a read aloud of Geronimo Stilton’s Mystery in Venice and discovered that students were intrigued by the idea of streets of water. After researching, students built 30cm long cardboard gondolas and with a few props, used Superimpose App to digitally create images of themselves as gondoliers.

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