Curved House Kids to publish UK Space Agency-funded Space Diary

By | 6-8 years, Blog, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy

15,000 schoolchildren invited to write and draw their way into space with British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake.

Lucy Hawking and Curved House Kids have launched a new UK Space Agency-funded STEM literacy project to get 500 primary schools involved in ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS. Tim’s mission, called Principia, blasts off with a launch in December from the Russian spaceport at Baikonur, Kazakhstan. As Tim lifts off, school students will follow his mission by creating a personalised log book, the Principia Mission Space Diary.

Hawking says:

“Through imagination, scientific research and creative writing, we are all going into space with Tim Peake as he makes his journey to the International Space Station.”

With scientific and puzzle-creating support from Professor Peter McOwan and the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London, Lucy Hawking and the team have devised a fully illustrated activity book. The book is packed with activities that inspire children to read, write, draw, research, experiment and problem-solve while strengthening STEM, literacy and visual literacy learning.

In video clips included with the programme, science communicators and experts such as Stephen Hawking, Carol Vorderman, Dallas Campbell will offer their views and insights to help the students complete their monthly mission challenges. These videos are filmed among the world-leading collections at London’s Science Museum.

Curved House Kids publisher Kristen Harrison says:

“The Space Diary is full of visual activities and we hope this creative, interactive approach will encourage more children to get involved in Tim’s mission. Students will be learning about space and science while forging a love of books at the same time.”

The Principia Mission Space Diary is one of nine projects to be awarded funding by the UK Space Agency, as part of a scheme to support educational outreach associated with Tim Peake’s mission.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, says:

“We’re delighted to support another project that brings space and Tim’s mission to creative young people around the UK. We hope that schools and students will get involved and take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn new skills as they follow an astronaut’s adventure.”

Hawking and illustrator Ben Hawkes launch the project today with a school event at Islington Central Library as part of World Space Week. About 60 students from two local primary schools will test the content of the Space Diary during a 90-minute Astronaut Bootcamp.

For other schools wanting to get involved, the website is now open for sign-ups and all primary schools in the UK are invited to register at principiaspacediary.org to receive free copies for up to two classes (60 students). Books will be delivered in the first week of December. Schools will then have access to an online portal releasing new video content, teacher guides and resources for six months worth of activities. This programme is free but places are limited to the first 500 schools to sign up, so be quick!

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Lucy Hawking (www.lucyhawking.com)

Lucy Hawking is a British author who works with scientists to write adventure stories about their research for primary school aged audiences. Lucy’s books, the George series, combine story telling with science and give young readers an exciting and entertaining introduction to the world of science and maths. An Oxford graduate, Lucy started her writing career in journalism and worked for British newspapers, radio and magazines before becoming a published author.  The George series of books is published in over 40 languages and is now in production as an animated television series with DHX Media. Lucy has been recognised for her work in science and education with several awards – she won the Sappio Prize for Popularizing Science in Rome 2008 and the UNSW Medal 2015 for Science Communication and was awarded a Doctorate in Science by Queen Mary University of London in July 2015. Lucy has travelled the world giving talks about science to young audiences. She has frequently featured on television and radio, both as a subject and as a interviewer. Lucy is a trustee of the Autism Research Foundation, supporting scientific research into the condition of autism.

About Curved House Kids (www.curvedhousekids.com)

Curved House Kids has a simple mission: improve literacy levels among digital-native children by creating books that reflect the world these children are entering– a world that is visual, interactive and full of tools that allow individuals to create. All of the Curved House Kids books and workshops empower children to make their own books – in print, digitally or both, and in doing so they nurture the instinctive visual literacy skills that digital native children possess. Making children part of the creative process ensures that they form a strong bond with books and an understanding for how reading, writing and drawing can positively impact their lives. Curved House Kids founder Kristen Harrison is a former Penguin editor who now runs publishing and design agency The Curved House, alongside Curved House Kids. She sits on the board of the International Visual Literacy Association and holds a Masters in Communications.

About Peter McOwan (QMUL)

Peter McOwan is a Professor of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London and Vice Principal (VP) for Public Engagement. His research interests are in human perception, artificial intelligence and robotics. He is a space enthusiast and amateur magician and has used these talents successfully in a number of outreach projects, from our-space.org which charts computer games developer Richard Garriott’s adventures in space, to The Manual of Mathematical Magic, where he teaches fundamental mathematical and computing  principles through simple magic trick. He is also the co-founder of the innovative cs4fn project (cs4fn.org) and holds a HEA National Teaching Fellowship award. Peter was also awarded the IET Mountbatten Medal in 2011 for his work in public engagement. In his role as VP he also oversees and champions all the College’s outreach activities created the College’s Centre for Public Engagement.

About Principia (principia.org.uk)

Astronaut Tim Peake will begin his five-month mission on the International Space Station in December 2015, becoming the first British ESA astronaut to visit the station. His mission is called ‘Principia’ and together with the UKSA and ESA, Tim has a number of educational outreach activities associated with the mission, designed to get children and young people engaged in STEM learning.

Tim will be involved in many experiments aboard the ISS during his mission. Research in space crosses many different subjects – the unique environment of the ISS offers a great opportunity to investigate novel materials, life in space, the human body, fluid physics, new technologies and many other things. Through the Principia educational activities, students have the opportunity to engage in a rage of related activities.

About UK Space Agency (http://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-space-agency)

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency

  • Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
  • Encourages academic research
  • Supports the UK space industry
  • Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
  • Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
  • Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
  • Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
  • Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

About the European Space Agency (www.esa.int)

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 21 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 19 are Member States of the EU.

One other Member State of the EU, Hungary, has signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, will soon become the 22nd ESA Member State.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU.

Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement. ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND ENQUIRIES

Curved House Kids
Kristen Harrison (Publisher)
Mob +44 7594 262 688 or +49 176 876 02770
Email: kristen@thecurvedhouse.com
@curvedhousekids

Queen Mary University of London
Sian Halkyard
Head of Public Relations
Email: s.halkyard@qmul.ac.uk

UK Space Agency
Julia Short
Press Officer
Tel 01793 41 8069
Mob 07770 276 721
Email: Julia.short@ukspaceagency.bis.gsi.gov.uk

Calling Awesome Teachers: Be Part of a Unique Space Mission

By | 6-8 years, Blog, News

We’re going into space! Well, sort of…

In December 2015, British astronaut extraordinaire Tim Peake will really journey to space for a 6-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS). As part of Tim’s “Principia” mission, the UK Space Agency have awarded £140,000 in funding to 9 education and outreach projects and we are one of them. OMG! Galactic news!

Together with Lucy Hawking and QMUL’s Professor Peter McOwan, we are producing a Space Diary that will be sent out for free to 15,000 UK primary school children. The Space Diary is packed with activities and challenges that allow the help Tim on his mission – from preparing to be an astronaut, to experiments in space, to navigating space debris for a safe return to earth.

Calling awesome teachers…

We are looking for a small group of 4-6 teachers (in England, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to form our testing team. We will need about 5 hours of time between now and the end of October to review the content of our book, our teaching notes and give us feedback on some adhoc questions. All this is to make sure this project is the best it can be for the 500 teachers and 15,000 students who will take part. In return we will credit you in the book; we will make sure your class is one of the 500 schools to receive free books; we will feature you and your school on our blog (if you want to be featured) and your class will get to cyber-meet author extraordinaire Lucy Hawking via a Skype visit to your school.

Will you join our teacher team? To join the crew, email our project coordinator Lucie Stevens at info@thecurvedhouse.com by 28th September.

And for more info, read the full press release announcing the Principia funding on the UK Space Agency website.

visual literacy in the classroom curved house kids house of illustration

Visual Literacy in the Classroom: Working with hearing impaired children

By | Blog, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy

Canada’s Global News has just published a wonderful story about the use of visual literacy in a Candadian school, to help hearing impaired students with their literacy learning. Joana Weber, the teacher who implemented the programme, writes of the significant improvements in literacy among her group and also of a remarkable increase in confidence and self esteem. Weber notes the benefits of a holistic approach to literacy learning:

“Literacy is connected to language. Language is connected to thought and experience, so I think that introducing things like drama, like art and drawing, to engage students and engage communication can only have a positive impact on literacy.”

It is this very approach that guides our visual literacy workshops. Much like Weber, we aim to give student a full experience of language, not just an education about language. We work on core literacy learning while always mixing this with visual literacy and some kind of creative output, ensuring that all kids have the chance to create something they can be proud of. As practicing publishers, artists and writers we also bring our day-to-day professional experience into schools to give students insights into where well-rounded literacy skills can lead to.

Weber’s story is the kind that inspires us – we hope it inspires you too.

Read the full article on the Global News website

Photo courtesy of House of Illustration, taken as part of our collaborative project Our Cally Stories.

Curved House Kids and House of Illustration announce a new partnership

By | Blog, Events, News, Visual Literacy

Islington families invited to create their own stories with House of Illustration and Curved House Kids

Curved House Kids and House of Illustration today announce a new partnership, offering Islington families the chance to publish their own book in an empowering series of workshops, entitled “Our Cally Stories”.

Run as part of Islington Council’s Word15 festival, the 8-week programme will offer hands-on training in understanding visual and written literacy, as well as offering local families unique access to those working in creative sectors.

Commencing today, 23 April 2015, the workshops will be held in Holloway Library, Paradise Park Children’s Centre run by Islington Play Association and House of Illustration’s new Clore Studio at its gallery in King’s Cross.

The programme will map out a typical book development workflow, led and supported by an established author, illustrator and publisher. Young children and their parents will go through the process of planning, writing, editing, illustrating and publishing a professional quality book. Themes will be selected by participants, allowing them to create their own unique stories, and finished books will be produced and shared through local libraries.

House of Illustration and Curved House Kids have come together because of a shared focus on visual literacy, and on using visual tools to empower people to communicate fully in a modern world. This is a guiding principle for the programme, as Kristen Harrison, Publisher at Curved House Kids, explains: “We live in an increasingly visual world, and for the many who struggle with text-based literacy visuals can be extremely effective at breaking down their barriers to reading. We’re thrilled to join forces with House of Illustration, who already have an exceptional education and outreach programme, to provide Islington families with the tools they need to create and share their own stories. ”

The final book will be launched at House of Illustration, at 2 Granary Square in King’s Cross on Thursday 18 June.

NOTE TO EDITORS

About Curved House Kids (www.curvedhousekids.com)

Curved-House-Kids-Logo-BlueThe Curved House Kids produce books and downloadable learning materials, and run workshops that inspire primary aged children to read, write and see the world. Curved House Kids projects are based around the idea that visual tools and visual literacy skills can greatly improve a child’s ability to learn and that by making children part of the creative process we cement their learning (and their love for reading and storytelling) from an early age. We recognise that the world around us is now highly visual, digital and interactive and our methods engage with children the way children are engaging with the world.

About House of Illustration (www.houseofillustration.org. uk)

logoHouse of Illustration opened the UK’s first gallery dedicated solely to the art of illustration in summer 2014. Through changing exhibitions, events, courses, workshops and competitions it aims to reach audiences of all ages to learn about, participate in and enjoy illustration in all its forms. Our education department has been running since 2009; we have delivered over 40 projects in schools with high indexes of deprivation. Now equipped with a Clore Studio, we hold regular workshops for families, primary & secondary schools and adults. All workshops are delivered by professional illustrators and aim to empower participants of all ages and abilities with new skills, increased confidence, opportunities for creativity and enhanced visual literacy.

About the Word Festival

imgresThe Word festival celebrates the transformative power of words through a one year programme of high quality, commissioned arts activities, events and learning opportunities that encourage residents across Islington to develop enjoyment in reading, writing and freedom of expression. The festival is a partnership initiative between Inslington Council’s Library and Heritage Services, Arts Services, All Change and Free Word. Word 2015 will take place between 25 May and 19 June, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND ENQUIRIES

Kristen Harrison
Curved House Kids
+49 176 876 02770
kristen@thecurvedhouse.com
Twitter: @curvedhousekids

Emily Jost
House of Illustration
+44 203 696 2024
emily.jost@ houseofillustration.org.uk
Twitter: @illustrationHQ

Visual Literacy Reading Curved House Kids

Reading Fast and Slow

By | Blog, Visual Literacy

This is an extract from an article published on The Bookseller Blog, 13 March 2013. 

Last week was one of our favourite days – World Book Day. This annual event is a chance for parents, teachers, kids and readers of all ages to celebrate books and stories – a day to remember the reasons why we read.

Our world is now split between online and offline, the virtual and the real, the physical and the digital. We all know these two realms do not exist independently of each other, which is why being able to read whatever is in front of you (whatever form that takes) is becoming more nuanced and complex. For us, finding a way for books – particularly children’s books – to acknowledge those two worlds seems more important than ever. We need to allow ourselves to be open and flexible to the idea of reading taking more forms than it ever has before – but we also need to ensure children have ways to appreciate the value and transformative power of stories, and the act of reading itself.

Working in the field of visual literacy we know that digital media has transformed the volume of information presented to us on a day-to-day basis, particularly when it comes to images and messages. We see them everywhere and we often find ourselves wondering which bits to recognise and acknowledge, and which bits to stop and dwell upon, to reflect and comprehend and engage and build upon the ideas we are being shown. Stories are perfect for this – allowing us to spend time getting to grips with a narrative, with characters, giving our brains the opportunity to concentrate and focus. They train us to remember how to do something beyond an immediate reaction to stimuli.

To read the full article visit The Bookseller Blog…

imagine festival southbank curved house kids

Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre 2015

By | Blog, Events, News

We’re back from a week in London where we took part in the annual Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre. As part of the ‘Everybody Into Books’ event, organised by Inclusive Minds, we set up a book-making station and had kids help us illustrate and write our books. And this year we also got them to turn us (and themselves) into their favourite characters – everything from hairy monsters to floating mermaids. We made over 20 books throughout the day and are now creating ebooks and uploading them to our Kids Library for you to view and download for free!

This was a special day for books. Inclusive Minds are committed to ensuring all children can access books and see themselves in stories and this event brought together organisations, like ours, that see inclusion as a priority rather than an afterthought. The organisers, Beth and Alex, assembled a panel that included some incredible, smart and articulate young people who openly discussed their experiences growing up in mixed race families and as transgender teens. They pointed out that few, if any, books published in the commercial sector reflect their own experiences and this invisibility can lead to feelings of profound isolation during childhood and adolescence.

Also on the panel was one of our idols, Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child, who talked about her own approach and that rather than try to introduce diversity for its own sake, she tries to reflect real life and narratives that all children can relate to.

We came away from this day feeling completely energised by the insights of those who spoke, the creativity and enthusiasm of the kids who came and created books with us, and the potential we have to ensure diverse representations of people and circumstances in the characters and stories we create for kids. Until 2016 when we can Imagine again!

It’s back! Get ready to show us your Summer Snowmen…

By | My Summer Snowman Competition
Last year's winning entry from Lily, 4

Last year’s winning entry from Lily, 4

My Summer Snowman Competition returns for 2014/15!

‘Don’t just read a book – be part of the story!’ – Lucy Hawking

CALLING ALL BUDDING ILLUSTRATORS!

We’re back again for another round of festive drawing fun: the My Summer Snowman competition has returned! Our annual drawing competition is a great way to spend the holidays: simply make your own book and you could win some amazing prizes for you and your friends.

We’re inviting kids to draw their best cover illustration for My Summer Snowman. You could win 20 copies of our great picture books for your friends or classmates plus a visit from one of our amazing authors or illustrators! The books are best suited to kids aged 4-8 but we welcome submissions from any kids up to age 12.

What to do:

  1. Grab a copy of My Summer Snowman – available from AmazonThe Book Depository, or direct from us.
  2. Draw your best cover illustration!
  3. Ask an adult to scan the cover or take a good quality photo.
  4. Email the picture to info@curvedhousekids.com

Competition closes 5pm, Friday 9th January, 2015. Winner announced Thursday 15th January, 2015.

What’s up for grabs:

The winner will receive 20 copies of our Make-Your-Own books plus a visit from one of our terrific authors or illustrators. We can visit you at a school, organization, festival or even your very own drawing party – all we ask is that it must take place before 31st May, 2015. The author/illustrator will attend in person to schools in the UK, Ireland and Germany. For all other countries, we’ll turn up via cyberspace to entertain you!

Terms and Conditions

Entries must be illustrated on a physical copy of My Summer Snowman, by Chester Travis. All entries must be received by 5pm, Monday 9th of January, 2015. Judging will take place on 10th-14th of January, 2015 and the winner will be contacted on Thursday 15th January, 2015. Email addresses and phone numbers of an adult or guardian are required for the purpose of contacting the winner. This information will not be shared with any third party, added to any mailing lists without consent or used for any other purpose.

About our books

The Curved House Kids  “Make-Your-Own Books” series aims to empower and inspire children by allowing them to produce their very own book. Our unique method integrates visual literacy learning with reading and writing, ensuring that kids are ready to navigate the highly viusla, digital and interactive world around them.

Our books are for children of all ages, all abilities and all learning styles and 20p from every copy sold goes to Booktrust’s Children’s Reading Fund, to support their work with children with additional needs.

 

Can you make this face happy? A visual literacy exercise for everyone

By | 4-6 years, 6-8 years, 8+ years, Blog, Teaching Resources, Visual Literacy, Worksheets

When we teach visual literacy we don’t just teach how to ‘read’ and interpret images, we also explore the interpretation of other visual references. One of these is facial expression and, in particular, understanding emotion. Being able to interpret an emotion, and knowing how to express different emotions, are vital to our interactions with the world. This is a quick exercise to try yourself.

Download and print the worksheet below.

Try to turn this face into a happy face.

What changes will you make to change it’s mood? Are there small changes that can make a big difference? Can you completely reinvent the face? Tweet us a picture to @curvedhousekids or post it to our Facebook page, we’d love to see what you make of it.

Visual Literacy Exercise

Click to download PDF

 

 

curved house kids visual literacy fun palace

Five Gems from our first Fun Palace

By | Events, News

On October 4th and 5th, Curved House Kids took over a corner of one of our favourite local bookshops, Shakespeare and Sons and turned it into our very own (and Berlin’s very first) Fun Palace. But what’s a Fun Palace? In short, it’s a free space where kids and adults can have fun connecting art and science through games, storytelling and drawing. Fun Palaces is a UK based (but global) initiative based on an original idea from the legendary playwright, Joan Littlewood and transported into the 21st century by Stella Duffy and Sarah Jane Rawlings.

We had a wonderful weekend in our Fun Palace and were delighted to see so many faces, old and young. We discovered Berlin kids know how to put the FUN in Fun Palace, and that their parents can give us a run for our money with singing and dancing along.

For those of you that coudn’t make it, here are five ‘Fun Palace gems’ to give you a peek into what last weekend was like:

FunPalace-2

1. Rap and Rock(s) definitely go together

Kitty the Crystalizer rapped her heart out with her band, The Rocks. Big shout out to Mini-Metamorphic, a band member of The Rocks who managed to play it mega-cool and sleep through his moment in the spotlight.

FunPalace-15

2. Learning is it’s own language

Language is no barrier when you’re learning about sound waves and making music.  Take eight cups of water, a few German numbers, a poster and some eager volunteers and we had a room full of mini-Mozarts in the making.

3. Breaking the rules is best!

Curved House Kids author Chester Travis’ Picture Poetry session really set the kids imaginations alight. After listening to Chester’s ferocious animal sounds and identifying them, our Fun Palace visitors could create their own mixed-up creations taking the best bits from our animal components. ‘Kick’ was a colorful huge animal that made a mix between a roar and a hiss.

FunPalace-10

4. The future is bright…

Our Fun Palace mural was a chance for kids to respond to speculative questions about the future. One of them – “show me a world that has never existed” – was enough to get one visitor suggesting “a machine that allows you to learn everything while you sleep”. We are pretty much convinced the kid who came up with this will be a professor one day.

FunPalace-40

5. …Especially when you come together

Learning is not just about thinking, it’s also about doing and collaborating, and seeing parents and adults getting stuck in and helping their children add to our mural, write raps, dance for our morning warmups and create their own planets for our Saturday planet parade was an inspiring reminder that the Fun Palace isn’t just an idea for kids.

Thank you to Chester Travis, Megan Archer and Timothy Armstrong for sharing your artistic skills and creativity with us and the kids! And a special thanks to photographer Alice Connew for taking so many wonderful Snaps.

Visit the Curved House Kids Facebook Page to see more pics from the event.

curved house kids visual literacy books kristen harrison

Up, Up into Space in Deutsch!

By | Kids Gallery

We are SO impressed with this book by a 7-year-old in Frankfurt, Germany. This young writer has written the whole of Up, Up, into Space in her native German, complete with the speech bubbles and everything. Amazing work and super neat handwriting. Well done!

curved house kids visual literacy books kristen harrison

curved house kids visual literacy books kristen harrison

curved house kids fun palaces

Berlin’s First Fun Palace: Free Festival of Art and Science

By | Blog, News

Calling all creative kids! On the 4th and 5th of October, for one weekend only, Curved House Kids will set up a Fun Palace at Shakespeare and Sons bookshop.

What’s a Fun Palace? A Fun Palace is a free and creative space, where kids and adults alike can explore activities around art and science. We’ll be filling the weekend with all kinds of engaging and inspiring activities that bring science to life. With sessions looking at space, geology, chemistry, paleontology (dinosaurs!) and the animal kingdom, visitors to the Berlin Fun Palace will be able to explore their favourite subjects through storytelling, songs and games. Join authors, illustrators and artists including Megan Archer, Chester Travis, Kristen Harrison, Alice Connew and Jenna Stout for a fun-packed weekend creating Berlin’s first Fun Palace.

Activities include:

  • Meet the Illustrator: Learn about space, the solar system and gravity with illustrator Megan Archer, whose book Up, Up in to Space! is published by Curved House Kids.
  • Meet the Author: Chester Travis, author of My Summer Snowman, shares his poetry-writing skills while teaching us about the animal kingdom.
  • Rock n’ Roll: A rockin’ game where music meets geology!
  • Dinosaur Doodles: How would you draw a Sordes Pilosus? Or a T-Rex? This drawing game is the ultimate challenge for dinosaur fans!
  • Add your drawing to our “Imagine a Future” mural inspired by author extraordinaire, Lucy Hawking! In one of her videos, Lucy asks: “Can you imagine a future noone else has thought of?”.
  • Splashing Sounds: Learn how to make music with water and sound waves.
  • Planets on Parade: Make your own planet mask and join our planet parade!

This Berlin Fun Palace is one of many Fun Palaces happening in the UK and around the world on 3rd and 4th October, 2014. Over 100 Fun Palaces have been devised to celebrate theatre director Joan Littlewood’s centenary and her vision of creating fun and engaging spaces for anyone to access. Fun Palaces is a campaign for culture that everyone can join – combining arts and sciences, welcoming and free, at the heart of local communities across the world.

When and Where?

11am – 4pm on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October
Shakespeare and Sons Bookshop and Bagel Cafe, Warschauerstrasse 74, 10243 Berlin
Cost: Free

A full programme of events will be published on the Curved House Kids website w/c 22nd September.

About Curved House Kids

Founded by Kristen Harrison in 2013, Curved House Kids is a Berlin-based publishing house that develops books and learning materials that integrate visual literacy into the teaching of core reading and writing skills. Our work tackles the reasons kids may not be reading, whether it be learning difficulties, additional needs, lack of confidence, or the ubiquitous distractions of digital technologies. By allowing kids to make their own books we empower them to be part of the creative process and encourage them to form a life-long bond with books and storytelling.

About Fun Palaces

In 1961, UK theatre director Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price conceived the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’, ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences that would welcome children and adults alike. This wasn’t possible in 1961; it’s very possible now.

Co-directed by author Stella Duffy and Sarah Jane Rawlings, Fun Palace takes the best of that never-built 1960s vision and bring it into the 21st century in a weekend of events, locally curated and attended – linked nationally and internationally, virtually and actually. On 4 & 5 October 2014 there will be hundreds of local, pop-up Fun Palaces across the globe, each one based on the needs and wants of that community, all part of the national network of Fun Palaces.

For more information, please visit:

http://funpalaces.co.uk/

https://curvedhousekids.com/

For further enquiries, please contact:

Kristen Harrison

kristen@thecurvedhouse.com

+49 176 876 02770

Andrew Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards

Visual Literacy Packs for Teachers, Parents and Guardians

By | Visual Literacy

This Visual Literacy Packs, compiled as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the 50th anniversary of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal awards – provide activities and teaching plans to accompany the reading of Carnegie and Greenaway award-winning books.

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-born philanthropist (1835–1919) who established over 2800 libraries across the English-speaking world. Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) was a popular nineteenth century children’s books illustrator. The Medals are awarded by librarians to those who show outstanding excellence in children’s and young person’s literature.

Check out the packs below!

Visual Literacy Pack 1
Visual Literacy Pack 2 (top ten)

 

chester travis at Shakespeare and sons

Chester Travis entertains the BeSmart Academy, Berlin

By | Blog, Events, News

Back in December we ran a competition to get kids drawing the cover of My Summer Snowman by New Zealand author Chester Travis. The comp was won by 5-year-old Lilly (then 4) who produced this wonderful drawing that really impressed our judge, illustrator Ben Hawkes.

My Summer Snowman Chester Travis The Curved House Kids

Lilly, aged 4

Lilly’s prize was an author visit by the wonderful kiwi native Chester Travis. We held the event at Shakespeare and Sons in Berlin and Lily bought along her classmates to be entertained and inspired by Chester’s reading. The kids got to illustrate their own page from a book and all took home a copy of one of our books.

Thanks BeSmart academy for a great morning and congrats again to Lilly, keep drawing!

Brian Kennedy, Director, formerly Hood Museum of Art

By | Visual Literacy

We often refer to this TEDx talk by Brian Kennedy in our work, so wanted to share it here. This is from when Kennedy was director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College (he is now Director of Toledo Museum of Art), speaking about the growing field of visual literacy and why we need it.

Kennedy notes in his speech that, although society has become much more visual, visual literacy itself has declined, and what’s necessary is to “reintegrate the capacity of our senses” for the digital age.

Much of our work and thinking stems from the idea that ours is an increasingly visual world and in order to get children reading (and get everyone interested in words, text and storytelling) we must present it in a way that reflects how they navigate the world – ie. visually.

Visual Literacies Project Archives

By | Visual Literacy

More great Visual Literacy resources from the US. Inter-Disciplinary.net, the Project Archives of Visual Literacies: Exploring Critical Issues has made available materials from conferences, research events, and other publications related to the project to provide you with some wonderfully helpful resources for developing future research and publishing opportunities.

Available presentation topics from the most recent conference include “Visual Literacy Through Graffiti” and “Visual Literacy as a Means to Facilitate Conscious Choice in Learning.”

Click here to find out more about the project.

Project Archives Visual Literacy Resources

WALL-E Visual Literacy resources

Examining WALL-E: How we can show meaning without words

By | Visual Literacy

“Visual Literacy” available online as a chapter excerpted from the book Media Literacy in the K-12 Classroom, by Frank W. Baker, published by the International Society for Technology in Education. The chapter examines the ability of photography and video—notably the first 10 minutes of the animated feature film WALL-E—in conveying meaning without words. The excerpt also provides details about the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Corporation’s set of “Language Arts Viewing Standards” K-12 education.

Read the chapter here!