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50 Easy World Book Day Ideas for Schools


It's usually around this time of year that I see teachers asking and sharing their school's activities for World Book Day. 

Of course, dressing up can still very much be part of the day and World Book Day will be organising various online events but there are tons of other easy and fun bookish activities which you can run at little or no cost. 

So alongside our round up of this year's World Book Day Books and 11 Easy, last-minute costumes you already have at home, here are 50 simple World Book Day ideas for schools.

Start Today

1. Talk about books in class. Books you've read, books they like, books they want to read

2. Introduce D.E.A.R. time - Drop Everything and Read during the school day

3. Get the children to complete the sentence  "I like this book because..." (KS1 can be just 5 words, KS2+ can be longer) and then create a display with the recommendations. Why not download our book review template

4. Get everyone in class to contribute to a discussion about "if you like...The Gruffalo/Harry Potter/ Wimpy Kid/ Roald Dahl" why not read... and make a display of the suggestions

5. Create an area in every classroom (not just the library) where you pin up photocopies of book covers and add a post it note about it

6. If you think a child might like a particular book, leave it on their desk with a note and ask if they'd like to read it.

7. Create a reading rockets competition where each week classes adds up how many pages they've read. Get them to compete with each other for the glory of being named the Reading Rockets Champions!

Get Organised for World Book Day 

8. Organise an author visit. Many authors get booked up several months in advance of World Book Day but it's still not too late! There's some information from the Society of Authors website on how to do this and Authors Aloud may be able to help find an author/illustrator but it's worth thinking about the kind of person you want in and what you want them to do. It's also worth contacting authors in your area (or ask for suggestions on Twitter if you don't know of any). Most authors and illustrators expect a fee for their time as book sales rarely cover their time and costs. 

9. Contact your local library to see if they could arrange a virtual visit or share ways the children can discover new books in lockdown.

10. Contact your local independent bookshop to see if they can run a bookstall or arrange an author visit.

11. Get older kids to host a virtual story-time session for younger kids and vice versa.

12. Organise a story swap where kids drop off books and swap them for ones others have already read.

13. Get each class to vote for their favourite book and then present the winners in assembly.

14. Suggest children build a story den at home for the family to share stories in and send in their photos.

15. Get the children to name as many books which have been made into films as they can and then watch one as homework and discuss how it differs from the book.

16. If you have a screen or virtual learning environment, set up a Bookflix display

17. Download an audiobook for the class to listen to 

18. Ask children to find a creative way to “sell” a book they loved to each other – they could make a vlog, a poster, an article or a cinematic trailer.

19. Run a picture book World Cup tournament

20. Get children to earn a badge by completing one of the World Book Day challenges. 50p from each badge sold goes to World Book Day.

21. Hold a Reading Stars competition – read in funny places, read a book that makes you giggle and more: tick off all the stars until you have completed the set. 

22. Organise a book quiz

23. Ask children to bring in one of their favourite books on World Book Day, this can help with many of the activities below

Get Creative on the Day

24. Instead of asking kids to dress up, get everyone to decorate an item however they like, as long as it relates to a book. They could choose a paper plate, potato, pebble, wooden spoon, shoe box, lolly stick, paper lantern, pillowcase, t-shirt, poster - the options are endless.

25. Ask children redesign the cover of their favourite book

26. Show the class an illustration from a book (without reading the story) and then get the children to find 10 things they noticed in the illustration. World Book Day activity sheet here.

27. Ask the children to choose a character from a book and get them to write about the character, what they look like, what they're feeling etc. World Book Day activity sheet here.

28. Ask the children to design a bookmark

29. Ask the children to re-write the ending of their favourite story

30. Read a wordless picture book and get the class to tell the story

31. Read a short story or poem and get the class to draw a picture of what they imagined as you were reading.

32. Create a super-villain! For younger children, ask them to draw and label their worst super-villain. For older children, come up with a super-villain together in (virtual or live) class, then ask them to create a crime scene, newspaper article or wanted posters.

33. Watch one of the many bookish videos out there including author videos, book trailers and more! We have over 2,600 videos available on our website all chosen by us.

34. Take part in a draw-along video with an illustrator like Draw With Rob.

25. Ask the children to create a book in a jar or box, you could then ask them to present it to the class and make the others guess the book.

36. World Book Day will be running events throughout the day which you can join in with

37. Ask children to re-tell a classic story or your class read in comic book form. 

38. Play a game of book charades. Each child chooses a book and has to act it out using their body (including hands and facial expressions) but are not allowed to say a word. This can be done live in the classroom, or virtually.

Bring books into every lesson

39. For Science, make a George's Marvellous Medicine potion from this book of experiments or take a look at our books for British Science Week.

40. For History, research the historical time around a book's setting e.g. Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll or the Hetty Feather series by Jacqueline Wilson.

41. For Geography, choose a book and look at the environmental issues or the location. E.g. Swimming Against the Storm by Jess Butterworth.

42. For Maths, you could use Oh, The Things You Can Count from 1-10 by Dr. Seuss for younger children or Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly about the four female African-American Mathematicians who helped Nasa launch men into space.

43. For Music, read a passage and then get the children to find a piece a music which matches the scene.

44. For PSHE, check out our recommendations for mental healthblack history monthInternational Women's Day, books to read during anti-bullying week and books with autistic characters.

45. For Food Technology, encourage the kids to get creative with a cake-making/ decorating competition on a literary theme.

46. In Library time Ask the children to find one fiction book and then a non-fiction book which could be read alongside it. E.g. Dick King Smith'sThe Hodgeheg and then read this lovely non-fiction book about Hedgehogs by Jane McGuinness.

Raise money

47. Run a remote sponsored read with Readathon and you'll be supporting their incredible work getting books to children in hospitals. 

48. Arrange a virtual book fair or start a sponsored read with an Usborne Organiser and you can get new books for your school library.

Involve Staff

49. Staff act out a funny scene from a book in the school assembly 

50. Staff members take a photo of themselves holding their favourite children's book in front of their faces and children have to guess which book belongs to who OR staff share pictures of themselves as children and pictures of their favourite children's book and students have to match the photo with the book.

50 Easy World Book Day Ideas for Schools

27th February 2023

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