Recently @ Hills Library

October 2013

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Library Learning

Kindergarten students have shown that they know the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction, so now we have moved onto another type of literature - Folktales! Folktales are stories passed down through the generations, told over and over and over again, and have many elements in common. We have read different versions of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin as well as some folktales from other parts of the world - like Mabela the Clever and some trickster tales!

First and Second grade students know the parts of a book, and are now practicing alphabetical order - a skill that helps them to understand the systems libraries use to organize information and books!

Third and Fourth grade students spent October preparing for a visit from author Jacqueline Davies! We read the Bell Bandit, one of her novels in the Lemonade War series, as well as a biographical picture book - The Boy Who Drew the Birds. Students loved to learn about John James Audubon, and to hear the sounds of the Eastern Phoebe, the bird the young naturalist studied in the book!

Fifth and Sixth grade students have been discussing reliable sources and what information we can trust at what times. Your 7 year old cousin Billy may be a reliable source on some topics, but we learned that for school research, sources like Britannica Online and school safe search engines like Netrekker are much more trustworthy. We also learned that search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Netrekker are NOT sources of information - they are vehicles to get us there. We used the metaphor of the internet as a highway to information, and the search engines are buses than take us around that world. Search engines can't tell us what information is good, bad, reliable or unreliable - only our brains can do that!

3rd and 4th Grade students greatly enjoyed our visit from author Jacqueline Davies! We traveled to Wood Elementary where Ms. Davies spoke with students about her work, her life, and the writing process. She encouraged students to keep trying even if they lose their confidence. She told us about the first book she wrote when she was in elementary school - The Sad Shape! She even had it with her!

Visiting Author Jacqueline Davies
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Fall Book Fair - Reading Oasis!

Monday, Nov. 11th 2013 at 8am to Friday, Nov. 15th 2013 at 3:30pm

301 W Main St

Hills, IA

One Book, Two Book - Student Writing Contest

The Children’s Book Festival, sponsored by the UNESCO City of Literature, is presenting the third annual Student Writing Contest. Participation is optional.

Students who wish to participate will take this opportunity on their own initiative and complete their own work.

  • The contest is open to students in grades 1-8.
  • The story may be on any topic; no story prompt is given.
  • Submissions may be in the form of a narrative, a poem, or a “graphic novel.”
  • The work must be NO MORE THAN 1 page in length. One page (8 ½ by 11 inch paper), single-sided, double-spaced.
  • It may be hand-written or typed. (Typed would be preferred for students who can.)
  • The submission must be original and written this school year.
  • The submissions must be polished and ready for publication.
  • In the top right corner, include these 3 elements: student’s name (first and last), grade, and school.
  • Submit student writing to the classroom teacher by November 6, 2013.

See complete information at

Thanks for supporting our students and their library programs!