Explore citizenship through the Scottish Teenage Book Prize
It's nearly time to vote in the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017!
Every year, we ask Scotland's teenage pupils to cast their vote for their favourite book from a shortlist of three great titles. It's easy to register to take part, and you can still register your book group or class on this page. The voting deadline this year is 17 February 2017.
Every year we write a series of blogs to keep you fully informed about what's available
As well as reading and discussing three great books, pupils can also enter our book trailer and graphic novel competitions, each of which is supported by a learning resource. We also have an activity pack full of ideas to use the books as a spur for cross-curricular learning, or to give you ideas for themed book group meetings. Finally, we've got some great author videos too.
Every year we write a series of blogs to keep you fully informed about what's available - check out everything we've written this year if you want to get some ideas about how to use #ScotTeenBookPrize this year or next! You can subscribe to our newsletter for secondary schools to get these blog posts straight to your inbox, as well as a reminder for when the prize opens up again with a new shortlist in the autumn.
We've just received our first batches of votes, so if you're gearing up to gather yours, here are some ideas to help with building cross-curricular learning into the process:
Whip up enthusiasm for reading round the school
If you want to develop your pupils' experience of bringing about positive change (as per the Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes) you can challenge them to create materials which will stimulate curiosity and enthusiasm for books amongst their peers round the school. Whether this is a book trailer, posters, tweet reviews, themed displays or some other medium, it's a good opportunity for pupils to think about the purpose of and audience for the text they're producing.
Check out the Scottish Teenage Book Prize activity pack to get some ideas for texts pupils could produce to shout about the books.
Explore the history of voting
Whether you want to look at the suffragette movement, the Anicent Grecian voting process or the modern system of democracy used in Scotland, voting in the #ScotTeenBookPrize is an excellent chance to talk about the merits of different voting systems, particularly in light of the series of controversial elections we've experienced recently.
Examine use of language in politics
As an ex teacher, I was passionate about getting kids to deconstruct the language used by politicians and other public figures, particularly because I left school painfully unaware of how I was being manipulated by language.
Here's how it seems to me...trying to define which book out of three is the 'best book' is actually pretty tricky, since preference in reading is a very subjective thing. Therefore, getting pupils to campaign for their favourite book or speak up for it in a debate is a good chance to talk about the persuasive techniques used in election campaigns. Use of catchy slogans shoehorned into discourse can show pupils how a memorable turn of phrase can give an edge (never was there a better example than Johnny Cochran, OJ Simpson's lawyer, who swayed a jury and public with the phrase, 'If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit.'). Use of hyperbole and direct appeals to people's emotions can help pupils understand how hypnotic language can be if left unchallenged. There are plenty of opportunities for discussion, and getting pupils to examine and challenge each other's pitches can lay some hugely worthwhile groundwork for their future as consumers of the media.
Stand by for our next Scottish Teenage Book Prize blog post on 1 February, when you'll have a chance to win copies of the shortlisted books!
Looking for more fantastic book recommendations for teens? Try our themed book lists.