Shadowing is a fun, flexible, reading for pleasure activity to inspire and engage young readers! We invite reading groups across the UK and internationally to take part, whether at school, the public library or even at you. You can decide how you want to run your own Shadowing Group to explore the Yoto Carnegie Shortlists for Writing and Illustration and share outstanding books with your students. The simplest way to take part is to bring together your shadowing group to read and discuss the shortlisted books, through regular meetings, either in person or online.
Every Shadowing group is different, but if you’re looking for some top tips to get you started, you can use the following structure as a template. The most important thing is making sure your readers are engaged in and excited by the books, so don’t feel constrained to follow the rules; you can adapt to suit what your young readers enjoy to help spark a lifelong love of reading!
The first shadowing session is a great chance for the group to get to know each other, introduce themselves and The first shadowing session is a great chance for the group to get to know each other, introduce themselves and perhaps share which book they are most looking forward to reading or a book they have enjoyed in the past, if they feel confident doing so. You might like to explore our Shadowers’ Challenge videos set by each of the shortlisted authors and illustrators for exciting and engaging challenges to inspire your Shadowers to creatively respond to the books.
For subsequent sessions, you can explore the detailed Shadowing Resources to discover new activities to try. Inviting your Shadowers to take it in turns to introduce the books they are reading at the start of each session is a great way to get the conversation started.
2. Read aloud
If you are shadowing the Illustration shortlist you might be able to read through a whole picturebook with your group in one session, but for the Writing shortlist, you may like to focus on significant passages that can be read aloud to inspire group discussion. Key passages are identified in the reading resources for each shortlisted book to help you to get started. And look out for videos with our authors reading aloud sections from their book, as well as author interviews.
Try one of the activities suggested in the Reading Resources or perhaps make up your own activity or competition to engage your readers! You will find suggestions to bring in cross-curricular themes and use multi-media for variety. Look out for exciting new Shadowing Tasks set by the author or illustrator in the video interviews released Whether as part of your Shadowing session or in their own time, encourage your shadowing group to try one of the activities suggested in the Shadowing Resources. There are a range of creative activities from writing exercises and artistic tasks to dramatic role plays. You will find suggestions to bring in cross-curricular themes and use multi-media for variety. You can also find inspiration from other shadowing groups on social media by following @CarnegieMedals on Twitter and Instagram and searching #YotoCarnegies24
Depending on the length of the book and the time you have allotted to shadowing, you may not review books during every group meeting, but try to encourage the group to reflect on what they are reading and how the books compare Depending on the length of the book and the time you have allotted to shadowing, you may not review books during every group meeting, but try to encourage the group to reflect on what they are reading and how the books compare within the shortlists and encourage them to prepare their reviews at home. Again, they might like to record their views through video or audio clips to share with their peers and to contribute to your own Shadowing Group’s podcast or video channel.
5. Finish – Plan Together
At the end of each meeting, try and involve your Shadowers in planning your next shadowing meeting, deciding on what to read next and what activities they might like to try. With book giveaways and prizes to be won by taking part in the various competitions you may like to factor in a session to work on competition entries or help your students to explore some of these in their own time.
For more top tips on Shadowing check out our Shadowing Webinars featuring the Awards Team and an array of Shadowing Group Leaders over on our Vimeo Channel.
Once you’ve finished a shortlisted book, it’s time to reflect and review to see how your group feels about the titles. Use the handy tips below to get started.