The Nordics in the world

Welcome to Nordic Literature Week 2020

Nordic Literature Week aims to fill Nordic and Baltic schools and libraries with readings, exhibitions, debates, and cultural experiences. And even though we are in different places in the world, we are all participating in the same event and part of the same reading community. This year's theme is the Nordics in the world - welcome to Nordic Literature Week 2020.

The year 2020 is a challenging year, with climate change hot on the horizon and the outbreak of a pandemic, COVID-19. With these events, one cannot fail to reflect upon what it means to be a citizen of a global world. What responsibility do we have as citizens, and what unites us and separates us from each other in the world? And is 2020 the year, which it is extra important that we come together for Nordic Literature Week (physically or virtually) for the sense of community and solidarity?

Nordic Literature Week is taking place the 9th – 15th of November 2020. On the big read aloud day on November the 9th, young and old will gather in schools and libraries throughout the Nordic and the Baltic countries to listen to the readings of the same texts. Morning Dawn for children and youths starts at 9 am. Evening Dusk for adults begins at 7 pm. The times can, of course, be adapted to the needs of individual institutions.

There are endless opportunities during the Nordic Literature Week. With this Catalogue of Ideas, we wish to inspire kindergartens, schools, libraries, and other cultural institutions to put together an exciting and diverse program during the Nordic Literature Week 2020. The ideas are categorised into target groups: children, youths, and adults. However, age is only a number, and the ideas can inspire activities across the age groups.

Happy reading!

Anna Berg
Project Manager

Jorden

Special thanks:

Ásdís Eva Hannesdóttir, Brigita Urmanaite, Bror Myllykoski, Eha Vain, Hedvig Solbakken, Heidi Lønne Grønseth, Ieva Hermansone, Julia Brink, Kersti Liiva, Krístin Magnúsdóttir, Marika Lindström, Marjun Patursson, Merete Riber, Mette Lautsen, Nastassia Maiskaya, Pauline Lundblad Abelsen och Anni Wikberg.

Share your experiences from the Nordic Literature Week 2020

The pictures must reflect this year’s theme, the Nordics in the world, in one way or another. To participate, just upload the photos on Instagram or share them with us on our Instagram or Facebook and tag them with #nordisklitt18.

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Reading aloud for children and youths

Morning dawn

It is at dawn that the read-aloud session for children and youths takes place. The read-aloud book for children: Everyone Counts by Kristin Roskifte, is suitable for children from 6 years. The read-aloud book for youths: The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius is recommended for youths by the age 10-15.

The experience of the read-aloud event starts before the book has even been opened. By closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting a few candles, you can create a captivating atmosphere ahead of the reading. If you have access to a projector, the experience can be enriched by displaying the book's front cover, this year's poster from the Nordic Literature Week, or illustrations from the book.

Ideas for children: While reading aloud

Talk about what you are reading

Let the child interrupt the reading with their thoughts and encourage the children's' imagination. Ask simple open-ended questions to involve the children in reading aloud actively.

Create a cosy environment

Remove furniture and let the children sit on cushions and blankets on the floor while reading aloud. Or create small tents, using blankets or sheets, and lite them up by using flashlights.

Co-operate with the local school or library

Nordic Literature Week creates the perfect opportunity to increase co-operation between schools and libraries. Organise a read-aloud event at the library or invite a librarian to do a reading at the school.

Ideas for children: Activities

How many are you in the class?

Write your own seek-and-find book based on how many of you are in the class and on your interests and dreams. For example, how many of you have pets? How many of you are wearing a green shirt?

Dive into the book

Work with the read-aloud book both before and after the read-aloud session. Study the front of the book and discuss what you think the book is about. After the reading, you can discuss which thoughts came up during the reading session. Can you identify yourself in the book?

Draw an "everybody counts" work of art

Begin by making a drawing of yourself in the middle of a piece of paper, then draw in other people around you. It can be family, friends, relatives, or other people that you see in your everyday life. Continue until the whole paper fills up with people (in the same style as the cover of the book).

Give all the children a number

Before reading aloud, hand out a number to each and everyone in the audience. Let the children colour and design the number as they like. During the read aloud, the children should listen carefully. When they hear their number mentioned, they can show their given number so that the others can see it.

Find and collect

If you need a short break in the read aloud, you can play a game where the narrator gives the task to pick up different things. For example, it could be picking up something blue, something that is soft, or a certain number of something such as three socks or the like.

Nordic corner in the library

Create a Nordic corner with Nordic books about celebrations. Put up this year's poster and put this year's literature, alongside other Nordic literature, e.g. from the Nordic Literature Week's list of additional reading. Find material for visiting kids so they can draw or paint the theme Nordic Celebration, and then make the drawings part of the exhibition.

Ideas for youth: While reading aloud

Read aloud to each other

Use Nordic Literature Week as an opportunity to practice reading aloud. Ask for volunteers in the class to read aloud parts of the extract to the rest of the class.

Co-operate with the local school or library

Nordic Literature Week creates the perfect opportunity to increase co-operation between schools and libraries. Organise a read-aloud event at the library or invite a librarian to do a reading at the school.

Read for a Nordic Friendship Class

Collaborate with a Nordic Friendship Class and read-aloud for each other in a video chat. Alternatively, record the text and share it between your classes. Can you understand the language of your friendship class? Afterwards, you can discuss the book with each other. Do you experience the language the same way? Can you recognise anything from your home country in the text? Please note that this might be more relevant for participants in the Nordic Countries. Find a Nordic Friendship Class at nordeniskolan.org! (The site only available in the Nordic languages)

Ideas for youth: Activities

What will happen to Sally Jones?

Sally Jones' life is threatened, but the novel is over 500 pages more. What do you think happens to her? Work alone, or in pairs, and write a new end to the story using the map at www.nordisklitteratur.org.

Can you find exotic things at your school or your home?

Give the pupils the task of finding one exotic thing at home or school. It can be a seashell from a foreign country, a spice, a tropical plant, a souvenir, or a picture that tells a story from abroad. The key is that the thing tells a story of something that has travelled from afar. Let the pupils write a short story about their chosen thing that describes what it is, where it comes from and why it feels exotic (or not). Create an exhibition of all the collected items and present the stories.

Make an origami boat

Before reading aloud, let the pupils fold a paper boat using origami techniques and decorate it. The instructions can be found on the website www.nordisklitteratur.org. Add the name of a home port on one side of the boat and the boat's destination on the other side of the boat. Where in the world, or why not in the whole universe, are the boats going?

Circle Story

Start by sitting in a circle and let the pupils take in turns to say either a sentence or a word, building up a story around the circle. Depending on the number of participants and flow, the story can circulate one round or more, until you are satisfied with the story.

Draw a world map from memory

Challenge your inner artist by drawing a world map from memory. Start with the Nordic countries and then build on the map. When you are ready, you can compare with others who have done the same task and then with a real map. Do you draw the world differently? If you want an extra challenge, you can change the perspective of the map by placing your country in the centre of the map. It can be useful to have a time limit of about 15 minutes. If there is time, the pupils can add different things that they connect with different countries. It can be flags, sights, items, etc.

Read aloud for adults

Evening dusk

Evening dusk is the read-aloud session for adults. It takes place when the November darkness has set in. This year's book is the novel Hotel Silence written by the Icelandic author Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir.

The experience surrounding the read-aloud starts before the book has even been opened. Create a captivating atmosphere by closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting a few candles.

Ideas for adults: While reading aloud

Read aloud to someone you cannot meet right now

Arrange a meeting with someone you cannot meet right now on Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or another digital tool and read aloud to each other. In a moment you will be close to each other again.

Draw a world map from memory

Challenge your inner artist by drawing a world map from memory. Start with the Nordic countries and then build on the map. When you are ready, you can compare with others who have done the same task and then with a real map. Do you draw the world differently? If you want an extra challenge, you can change the perspective of the map by placing your country in the centre of the map. It can be useful to have a time limit of about 15 minutes. If there is time, the pupils can add different things that they connect with different countries. It can be flags, sights, items, etc.

Combine the reading aloud session with other activities at the libraries

Do you arrange language-cafés for immigrants, reading aloud sessions for children, knitting-cafés or book-clubs at the library? Read aloud from this year's books and combine these already existing events with the Nordic Literature week and take part in the grand reading aloud community from 9th to November the 15th 2020.

Invite an author

Combine the reading aloud with a visit from an author. You could perhaps get an author nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize to visit you, or the Nordic Council's Children's and Youth Prize.

What is Nordic literature?

Combine Nordic Library Week with a lecture or debate on Nordic literature. What is Nordic literature? Is there a particular feeling or mood in the literature from the Nordic countries? Invite a professor or librarian to give a lecture on the concept of "Nordic literature".

The Nordics in the world

This year's work of art

The darkness lies heavy on the Nordic countries when Nordic Literature Week begins. We protect ourselves from the cold autumn wind and rain with umbrellas and light the storm lamp while immersing ourselves in books and stories. - Anni Wikberg

This year's artwork was created by the illustrator Anni Wikberg from Åland. Anni is educated at Svenska konstskolan in Nykarleby, Finland, and has designed stamps, advertising material, and children's books.

Anni Wikberg has illustrated, among other things, the fairytale På en trollsländas vingar ("On the Wings of a Dragonfly" in English - unpublished) written by Ann-Christin Waller. The book was nominated for the Nordic Council Children's and Youth Literature Prize 2019.

Print poster

Dive into this year’s poster

Description and interpretation

Print the poster or show it with a projector on the wall. What does the poster represent? What techniques dominate the illustration, and how does the colouring compliment the shape of it? Do you find symbols and characters in the picture? Describe the poster with all the details and give your impression of the image.

What histories hides within the poster?

Take a closer look at the poster and let it be an inspiration for further descriptions and stories. Present the stories either in written or oral form with your classmates or group.

Create your own poster

Elements from the poster are available on the website www.nordisklitteratur.org. Give the illustrations a new life by colour and cut out the illustrations to create your own poster.