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Mar 05 2020


Dennis Wang

During our online learning program, Beijing City International School (BCIS) teachers aim not only to educate students but also to care for them. Online learning, by necessity, involves a lot of screen-time and our teachers are trying to balance the type of tasks they are setting for students. To better maintain a healthy balance, BCIS designated last Friday as a screen-free day, with all learning on that day focused on physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

As important facilitators of learning across school sections, whether in-school or online, BCIS librarians offered a series of reading lists and screen-free activities for students and families.

Audiobooks - Listen to an audiobook as a family using our BCIS digital library. Whilst listening, pause the audio and discuss what is happening in the story, make predictions, ask what words mean and each other's opinion on an idea or character.

Paper Books - Read physical books as a family; the tangible element of sharing a story should never be underestimated!We recommend the 2019-2020 Panda Book Awards reading lists, which features books for readers of all ages. BCIS Elementary School Librarian, Matthew Richmond, has also put together an eclectic booklist on Epic for students and families to utilize, from funny reads to gripping tales there is something for everyone! For non-fiction reading, our SS Library Technician recommends "Basher Science", "DK: How Things Work" and "Why Matter Matters!", which are available at online bookstores.

Book Reviews - If you want to reflect on a book or audiobook, write a book review to share with your classmates. BCIS SS students are welcome to send their reviews to SS Librarian, Ms. Bromby. Read an example book review written by a BCIS student below:

Five Feet Apart book review by Grade 8 student Sophia:

"Five Feet Apart isn't like a dramatic story in which the plot would drastically rise or decease. On the other hand, it gives me a slight sweetness and touching moment when seeing how pure and simple the love between Stella and Will is. Even though they can only be five feet apart, they thought about each other every single day, every minute, every second---Stella would plan surprises for Will and tell him how important he is in her life, Will would tell Stella about beautiful scenes in the city...Also, he gave the chance of lung transplantation to Stella and left the hospital to avoid infection...Overall, I think Five Feet Apart is sweet, touching, and I'd strongly recommend this book."

Games and Puzzles - Complete a puzzle or play a board game as a family! Our SS Library Technician recommends "Scotland Yard", a game of cat and mouse set on the streets of London, and "Rummikub", which is easy to learn and combines strategy and luck. Both are available on online stores too.

Maintaining a balance of on-screen and off-screen activities is so important to a healthy lifestyle. We hope you enjoy and utilize these suggestions and resources to better you and your families' wellbeing.

Complete reading lists and links to the screen-free resources mentioned in this article can be found below:

SS Library homepage

Panda Book Younger Readers

Panda Book Middle Readers 2019-2020

Panda Book Older Readers 2019-2020

Panda Book Mature Readers 2019-2020

Coloring printable templates from Crayola

More coloring templates

ES Librarian's Book Recommendations - All located on Epic

Funny Books:

Stick Dog, by Tom Watson

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger

Darth Paper Strikes Again, by Tom Angleberger

The Surprise Attack of Jabba The Puppet, by Tom Angleberger

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus, by Tom Angleberger

(There are more in this series to be found on Epic J)

Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard & Florence Atwater

Fantasy Books: (Older Readers)

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Book 1) by Michael Buckley

The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects (Book 2)

The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child (Book 3)

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, by Jonathon Auxier

Fantasy Books: (Middle Readers / Younger Readers)

Mr. Tiger, Betsy, and the Sea Dragon by Sally Gardner

Oothar the Blue, by Brandon Reese

Red Apple, by Arnaud Almeras (Chinese)

The Boy Who Loved the Moon, by Rino Alaimo

Tashi and the Mixed-Up Monster, by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg

The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame

Graphic Novels:

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie Jun

Hey, That's My Monster by Amanda Noll