In school, we celebrate books all year round. Reading is something we really try to promote as an activity to be done for pleasure; books are discussed actively by both teachers and students; new books are brought into the school whenever possible; children are given time to sit and comfy read. Every day we spend time curating a love of books and reading.
But, each year, World Book Day embeds itself into the calendar of schools up and down the country. A whole day celebrating brilliant books, discussing our favourite characters and sharing stories socially. Despite creating a real reading for pleasure culture into each day at school, it’s still one of my favourite events of the year.
The obvious reason is that you get to spend a WHOLE DAY focusing on books! But there’s a number of other reasons why this is too!
The enthusiasm the children show for books.
We have some dedicated time for reading each day in school: story times, whole class reading, individual reading time. But children love spending more time exploring texts in depth, sharing stories with children they might not usually see within the school day and also getting quality time to spend discussing literacy with a range of different children. As much as we try and do this, other things in a typical school day can hinder this. When given time, most children will ooze enthusiasm for reading from their pores and then soak up the reading atmosphere.
Some people don’t enjoy dressing up on World Book Day, and that’s absolutely fine – we all celebrate differently. But I love an excuse to wear fancy dress! This year, we’ve decided to do things differently with an idea that started to make an appearance online: vocabulary dress up! One pet peeve I have is World Book Day outfits being film characters or footballers on a day celebrating BOOKS. So this dress up theme is perfect. Each child (and adult!) in school needs to dress as their favourite adjective – which means those Frozen characters still have a place – as long as you match the perfect vocabulary choice to them!
Each week, Year 6 go down to reception and share stories with their reading buddies. World Book Day gives a brilliant reason to share stories across the school between classes, key stages and staff to pupils. Reading can be such a social event and this is the perfect way of modelling it. Have activities which are across different year groups and really promote book chat!
This year, we have tried to think about some really good ways to incorporate all of the above! I’ve already told you our fancy dress plans, but here’s a run down of the rest of our World Book Day (including some activity ideas if you still need some!).
Each teacher/TA is choosing their favourite book for their class to focus on.
We want to share our favourite children’s books with our class! From The Gruffalo (my TAs choice in Y6!) to The Tiger Who Came to Tea in Y1, we have a brilliant array of books being shared. Each class will have focused activities based around this, and its vocabulary, throughout the day including:
- Story scene shoe boxes
- Role play
- Illustrating their own book page
- Creating their own picture books inspired by the original
- Designing front covers
- Making book marks
Lollipop Book Characters
Each child in the school was given a lolly stick to take home and turn into their favourite book character! These will then be brought back into school and shared! We can’t wait to put these on display.
Our young librarians are visiting each class to share a story with the children. As they range in age from Year 1 – Year 6, we can’t wait to see them sharing a range of different stories across the school. We want children to show their own excitement for reading and pass this on to others by showing their passion for a story or an author.
Tweeting authors through the day!
Twitter is invaluable for the contact children can have from authors. Is a child dressed in a brilliant costume of their character? Loving reading their book? Sharing their book with other children? Tweet them! Often, they will take the time to reply and it can be an amazing buzz for the children, plus it shows the authors how much we all love their incredible books.
I can’t wait to see some brilliant books, ideas, costumes and lessons online in the coming week – I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for what I can do next year!
My name is Emily and I’m a Year 6 Teacher who also leads reading and writing projects within my school. I am also a Student Mentor. Outside of school, I absolutely love baking and watching rugby (supporter of Leicester Tigers & Wales!).
My blogs will be focused around both wellbeing – which I am really passionate about – as well as a range of ways to teach reading! Hopefully you’ll find them either informative or enjoyable…or even better, both.