Ideas

Shadowing is flexible; you can decide how you want to run your own scheme. The simplest way is to work with a small group, reading and swapping books, meeting regularly to discuss progress and writing and posting reviews online.

You can control and customise everything on your Shadowing Group Homepage. Remember to use your group description to tell everyone what your group has been doing and add a photograph for the current year. Visit other group's homepages to get an overview of shadowing activity and read our Shadowing Group Reports.

There is a core of resources that we supply to support shadowing activity, ranging from talking points, reader development activities, visual literacy activities and video interviews with authors and illustrators. We encourage you to make use of these resources. You can also use Carnegie and Greenaway shadowing participation as an Arts Award activity.

In addition, check out the activities and tips below - all activities have been created by shadowing groups over the past few years. . .

Top activities for all groups

1. Review first chapters and front covers. A good way to introduce a selection of books to choose from. Can spark a debate about "judging books by their covers" and decide which books look the most interesting. Compare results at the end of shadowing to see if predictions were right.

2. Make a video. Create a "big brother style" video diary to track your group's progress and favourites or interview students as book characters by getting them to answer questions as though real events were taking place, use props to reinforce character, create book trailers for your favourite books. You can upload your video to your group homepage!

3. Run competitions and award small prizes for best reviews, best book cover re-designs, wordsearches, crosswords, quizzes etc.

4. Brand your meetings. Download free stuff colourful membership cards, certificates, doorhangers and bookmarks to give out at meetings.

5. Write a blog. All groups have the facility to write and update their own blog. This is a great way to track activity. One group member can be in charge or readers can take turns each week.

6. Video chats. If you have a webcam and suitable software (eg. Skype) you can connect up with other shadowing groups. It may take a while to sort out all the technical details, but it's worth it for the experience of talking on the telly! Connect with shadowing groups across the UK.

7. Meet up with other shadowing groups. Discuss and vote for favourite titles. Organise a special debate or shadowing celebration with a neighbouring school or library. Use the Neighbouring Groups function on your Group Home Page to connect with local groups.

8. Customise your Shadowing Homepage. Get IT-gifted students to help re-design your group's shadowing homepage. They can choose from a number of funky designs and layouts to give your group a unique identity.

9. Design your own polls. Everyone loves to vote! Your group can design their own polls to find out what group members are thinking and refresh content at any time. You can share your polls with other groups. Groups have made polls about everything from deciding what biscuits to choose for their next meeting, to working out which genre is the most popular amongst their readers.

10. Dramatic interpretations of scenes from the shortlist. Which one fires the group up the most, and which scene comes over the best, costumes, props, Powerpoint displays. Challenge students with the task of creating Powerpoint presentations on each of the shortlisted authors, using information from our website, and other Internet sources.

11.Powerpoint displays. Challenge students with the task of creating Powerpoint presentations on each of the shortlisted authors, using information from our website, and other internet sources.

12. Booksharing. Take secondary school students into infants or primaries to try storytelling with Greenaway shortlist titles. A hugely rewarding experience.

13. Use the Archive of previous winners as a practice run for shadowing, reading and reviewing books out of season.

14. Watch videos of authors and illustrators talking about their work by visiting the Author and Illustrator Videos section of the site.

See also Top Tips