World Book Day is often thought of as a day of fun; sharing stories; the joy of reading; and dressing up. After twenty-five years of celebrating, it can be easy to forget that beneath all the fun and activities, there is an underlying mission: to ensure every child, regardless of their background, has a book of their own as well as the opportunity to develop a life-long habit of reading.
Schools are passionate about encouraging children to fall in love with reading each and every day and, whilst World Book Day is only one day, it can still have a huge impact in igniting a love of reading. As studies have shown, children who struggle to meet expected reading standards in school are likely to struggle across all other subjects, potentially risking their future success. At a time when more children have fallen behind, World Book Day can really make a difference, so One Education is here to help you to make the most of it.
This year’s theme is “You Are A Reader.” We hope you can make reading accessible and exciting for all of your pupils with our wide variety of World Book Day ideas.
Bring Books to Life
The most popular way to celebrate World Book Day is by getting dressed up, but with or without costumes, performing can be a fantastic means of immersing ourselves into fictional worlds – so why not put on a show? Pupils can really get inside their characters heads when re-enacting their favourite scenes. Children could even create their own props or decorate sets to make their performances more realistic.
Another great way of bringing a book to life is by creating a book trailer for it. Get children to reflect on key characters, quotes and highlights by sketching out a storyboard. Children can then explore their photography and film skills whilst capturing imagery to represent their story, either through acting, or perhaps by using potato characters or sock puppets. Finally, older children can practise their computing skills by putting trailers together on powerpoints or videos, including text and transition effects to really hook their audience.
Alternatively, you can use World Book Day as an opportunity for wellbeing! Take time to find some peace of mind and practise storytime yoga with your pupils. With this calm, relaxed, yet active approach, you can demonstrate to children just how unique the reading experience can be. Try out different poses and movements whilst following along with a story, and experience all the ways reading can boost our wellbeing.
A Story Is What You Make of It
Brighten up your classroom and promote reading at the same time by creating book balloons with your pupils. Children can decorate paper lanterns with the theme or character of a book in mind, and then practise their design and technology skills by attaching box-shaped baskets made of card and string. When they are finished, hang the air-balloons from the ceiling to remind children of how reading can take us into different worlds.
Similarly, you can explore the creative side of reading by asking children to make book boxes. To do this, turn an empty shoebox on its side and use it to create a scene from a story. By creating a 3D landscape, pupils get the chance to really stretch their imaginations, creating figures, textures, and objects with a variety of materials. When the masterpieces are complete, you can put them on display and invite both children and parents to tour the exhibit.
An arty activity that older students might enjoy is the creation of book bentos. This idea is based on bento boxes in Japan, where packed lunches are arranged in separate compartments in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Likewise, book bentos are made by arranging items which reflect the themes and concepts of a novel. This prompts students to really engage with a text, and they can be as inventive as they like with their creations. Afterwards, photographs can be uploaded online and shared to inspire others.
Read You Like a Book
Reading is not just a solitary activity, it is something we can share with others through book clubs, reading challenges, and book cafes. Show your pupils the social benefits to reading with team-building games like scavenger hunts or escape rooms, where answers and clues are found within books.
Another fun option that gives children the chance to work together and share ideas is a dinner table mystery game. This involves setting up a dinner table and inviting children to guess the book character who is coming to dinner, based on the props and decorations laid out.
Finally, you cannot go wrong with a good old-fashioned book fair. This is a great opportunity for getting the whole school community involved and it is extra lovely to meet face-to-face for a catch up after all this time apart. Plus, book blether can have a wonderful impact on children’s reading for pleasure. Set up stalls with donated books and invite everyone along to see what’s on offer. To make the day more special, you could also have coffee and cake stalls nearby – even better if they are literary-themed! If your school is taking a cautious approach towards reopening, don’t worry about missing out – you can still hold a book fair online.
These ideas give a flavour as to what you could do on World Book Day and beyond. Whatever you have in store, we cannot wait to see it!
World Book Day is just the beginning when it comes to promoting reading for pleasure, so keep up the momentum and remember One Education can help. If you would like any support or advice, please visit our Literacy and Reading Award pages to see how we can help you nurture the next generation of readers.