Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Tzar retires but Kids’ Lit Quiz reign continues

Tzar retires but Kids’ Lit Quiz reign continues

Most people look forward to a rest when they retire, but as Wayne Mills is retiring to dedicate himself to the Kids’ Lit Quiz he created; he’s probably going to be even busier.

The University of Auckland senior lecturer wants to expand the quiz to more corners of the world and is aiming to have it running in 20 countries by 2020.

Wayne first started researching kids’ books when he started teaching at Napier Intermediate in 1971.

“There was a woman on the staff there who was also the librarian who said to me ‘Wayne, you will never remember every book you read unless you write it down’. Little did I know what great advice that was.”

From then on every time he read a children’s book he had a pen in one hand poised above a library index card. When an interesting topic or twist came up in the book he would write a question about it and the accompanying answer.

When Wayne started the Kids’ Lit Quiz in 1991 he already had an encyclopaedic level of knowledge of children’s literature all carefully documented in a filing cabinet in his office. Not only is he the Quiz Master, they now call him the Tzar of Kids’ Lit, with over 40 years of children’s literature behind him.

His idea was to create a game similar to Trivial Pursuit, except where all the wedges would be different literary genres.

Aimed at 10 to 13 year-olds, teams consist of four students who work together to answer wide-ranging literary questions. They are asked 100 questions from 10 categories. These questions vary every year and can be sourced from classic children’s literature to the latest best seller.

”There’s no reading list, the kids have to read everything that’s been written for kids in the last 200 years.”

“The kids love it because they know it’s a real challenge, it’s not been dumbed down in any way.”

Now it’s a huge event and on the literary calendar of most New Zealand primary schools.

“Kids just have to read their hearts out and it forces them to read hugely.”

In New Zealand and around the world thousands of school children aged between 10 and 13 have been involved in this hugely popular event.

Even rock-star Lorde sings its praises. She fondly recalls her first overseas trip to South Africa when she was 12 with Belmont Intermediate’s Kid's Lit team to represent New Zealand after winning the national finals in 2008.

In the late 1990s teams from Australia took part, but the quiz really took off when kids from Newcastle in north-east England first participated in 2003.

This encouraged other parts of the UK to join, followed by South Africa in 2005, China in 2006, Canada, the United States and Australia in 2011 and Singapore and Honk Kong in 2013.

Not content with taking the quiz to all four corners of the world, Wayne’s intention now is to expand the quiz into even more countries, especially within the Commonwealth.

He wants to have the quiz in 20 countries by 2020 including Malaysia, Indonesia and the republic of Ireland. He’s also had requests to take the quiz to Uruguay, Botswana, Bahrain, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kenya.

This will mean more reading and travel for Wayne, who already reads about 100 books a year to keep up-to-date with the latest children’s literature.

Next week he heads to Falmouth, Cornwall in the UK with New Zealand’s winning team from Awakeri School near Whakatane to host the world final on Tuesday 8 July at the Princess Pavilion.

Wayne says it’s great that while millions of people are counting down to the FIFA World Cup final on 13 July, a quiz based on kid’s literature has also gripped thousands of school children around the world and is reaching its dramatic conclusion in the same week.

Wayne says it’s all worth it for the reward of seeing kids enjoying developing their reading both by themselves, but also with the support of their families.

Initially Kids’ Lit was began to encourage and reward students for their reading ability, but over time it has motivated and fostered students’ self-sufficiency and encouraged students to widen their scope of reading.

As the quiz has grown so too has the evidence of its benefits to kids’ reading. There’s a growing body of work and research to show that the quiz is improving their reading range and age levels. One obvious improvement is the increase of boys’ participation in the quiz. Now about 50 per cent of the contestants are boys, who have traditionally lagged behind girls in reading ability.

“What I am doing with the quizzes around the world is that they’re having more impact on reading than what I’ve done in the classroom and the university. It’s about reading for pleasure.”

“This quiz is opening doors both literally and figuratively for children around the world to enjoy reading.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news