Friday, October 28, 2011

Using story books to introduce Literature

When geocities closed down their free hosting of websites, I thought all the information would disappear. I am seeing now that they are restoring access to websites they hosted. Below is a link to a page from my former site, which gives basic information on how to assess literary quality in books for grades three to seven. Students in the lower grades in Jamaica do not study  'Literature', this being part of their Language Arts courses. From anecdotal evidence, however, it seems that teachers are sometimes at a disadvantage in helping their students to appreciate the literary quality of the books they recommend their students to read, so they can move beyond merely saying 'the book is interesting/nice etc'. The children, of course, do not have to be bombarded with all of this information. It is aimed at the teachers. Please make judicious use of it.

I hope that the information on this page will help It makes special reference to two books Little Island, Big Adventures by Maria Roberts Squires and The Ring and the Roaring Water by Diane Browne, both published in Jamaica, and for the upper end of this age group.

Please see this information now at

 I am making the article as a new post. Elements of a good story.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Musgrave plaque

My plaque from the Institute of Jamaica for the Silver Musgrave Medal of which I am very proud.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Silver Musgrave Medal award

I belong to a generation which often forgets to blow its own trumpet.
(Don't boast they used to warn)
So, I forgot to post my most recent shining moment – receiving  a 
Silver Musgrave Medal for literature from the Institute of Jamaica 
on October 12th,.until a friend asked me why I hadn’t done so.
The Silver Musgrave Medal
The Musgrave Medal is quite a prestigious honour.
Here’s a bit of its history from the IOJ’s website:

”The Musgrave Medals are awarded to selected
 persons for achievements in the fields of literature, 
art and science. According to the Institute of Jamaica’s
records, the  Musgrave Medal was first awarded in 1897,
as a memorial to Sir Anthony Musgrave, former Governor
of Jamaica who founded the Institute of Jamaica in 1879.
 Subsequent to his death in 1888, the decision was taken 
by the  Board of Governors of the Institute in 1889,
 to award medals annually in his honour. 
The Medals then were designed  by well-known 
British sculptor, Alfred Toft.”
Specifically, my award was for “contribution to children's literature
 and the encouragement of new writers”- which refers both to my
 published books/stories and my teaching of Writing Stories courses 
at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at UWI, Mona.
Me (left) receiving plaque from Minister of Culture Hon Babsy Grange
It was a proud moment for me.The Institute of Jamaica
 on East Street in Kingston was a place for school field trips
 to see scientific displays, the Jamaican iguana lizard
 ( before there was a zoo) and other fascinating displays.
 The auditorium was a place for musical recitals, 
speech festivals and so on. I never would have dreamed
 when I participated in these exercises that I would one day
 stand on that platform to receive a Musgrave Medal.

All Awardees with the Governor  General and Minister of Culture


My thanks to Carlong