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The Primrose Railway Children

BOOK OF THE MONTH - From bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson and inspired by E. Nesbit's timeless classic, The Primrose Railway Children is a gorgeous, heartwarming story of family secrets and new adventures perfect for ages 7+.

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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. This year, the day will be a bit different as most children are staying at home, but there are still plenty of ways to get involved.

Of course, dressing up can still very much be part of the day, 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 teachers.

Get creative

1. Instead of asking kids to dress up, get everyone to decorate an item at home 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.

2. Have your class take part in a live virtual World Book Day event! Share A Story Live is taking place from 3rd to 5th March with the WBD authors and illustrators on YouTube and the World Book Day website.

3. Ask children redesign the cover for their favourite book

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Ask the children to design a bookmark

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

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

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

10. 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.

11. Choose from the many author videos out there! Use the World Book Day Author & Illustrator Academy Videos to teach your pupils a range of skills from comic strip creation to how to be a story detective.

12. Or take part in a draw-along video with an illustrator like Draw With Rob.

13. 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.

Bring books into every lesson

13. 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.

14. 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.

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

16. 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.

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

18. For PSHE, check out our recommendations for mental healthblack history monthInternational Women's Day, books to read during anti-bullying week and books about the autism spectrum.

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

Show children that reading is something which can be done together

19. Join the World Book Day Book Club available on YouTube from March and share a book with kids up and down the country.

20. Try “Pass the Story” – each member of staff records themselves reading part of a book and then passes the story on to the next.

21.Participate in the World Book Day Share a Story Campaign as a school and see how many stories you can share.

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

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

Help children discover new books

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. Check out the World Book Day Top Stories to Share list with your class and ask them to vote for their own Top Story.

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

28. Get everyone in class to contribute to a discussion about "if you like...Harry Potter/ Wimpy Kid/ Roald Dahl" why not read... 

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

30. Download a free audiobook for the class to listen to (available on the World Book Day website from 18th February – 28th March)

Encourage children to recommend books to each other

31. 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.

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

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

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

35. Get the children to choose any book and complete the sentence, "I like this book because..." (KS1 can be just 5 words, KS2+ can be longer) and then create a digital display with the recommendations.

Raise money

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

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

38. 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.

39. Take part in the Design a National Book Token competition to win prizes.

Deep dive into a book/author/theme

40. Organise a virtual author visit. Plenty of authors are making appearances in schools over Zoom/ Google Classroom etc.

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

42. Browse book videos online including trailers, authors reading extracts, book reviews and more.

Show that reading can be fun

43. 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. 

44. Run a picture book World Cup tournament

45. Organise a book quiz

46. 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.

47. 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!

48. Get children to send in photos of themselves reading in unusual places to create a WBD digital display for your learning environment or for the kids in school.

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.

If you have done any of the above and would be happy to send us a photo you can you email it to us [email protected]

50 Easy World Book Day Ideas for Schools

5th March 2020

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Featured Book
The Primrose Railway Children
The Primrose Railway Children

BOOK OF THE MONTH - From bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson and inspired by E. Nesbit's timeless classic, The Primrose Railway Children is a gorgeous, heartwarming story of family secrets and new adventures perfect for ages 7+.

View book
Featured Books