World Book Day

World Book Day3 March 2016

Unless you have spent your whole life with your head buried inside a book, most of you will know that World Book Day is an annual event that celebrates the love, passion and excitement that books can bring to children and adults across the world. The 19th World Book Day will take place on 3 March 2016 and will celebrate everything that is books: authors, illustrators and (most importantly) readers. The event was chosen by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries all over the world. 

In the UK and Ireland, the aim of World Book Day is to help children to pursue a love for reading. One of the ways is by providing them with a new book (for some children this may be the only book that they own). National Book Tokens Ltd is sending more than 14 million book vouchers to children and young people (usually through schools) who can use it to choose one of ten completely free books. Alternatively, children can use it as a £1 voucher towards a book of their choice.

Creating a lifelong passion for reading is something we feel strongly about at One Education. We are currently piloting a Reading Award which will give recognition to schools who go above and beyond in sharing with children the passion and skills needed to become a lifelong book lover. To further celebrate our love for books we have written about how our all-time favourite children’s books can be used within the classroom.

EYFS ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy

When Mummy Bear tells Baby Bear that he can`t go to the moon because he doesn`t have a rocket, Baby Bear does what all children do, he finds a rocket (a cardboard box) under the stairs. This imaginative story can be re-enacted through role play without too much to set up. With a cardboard box, a sieve and a pair of wellies for the role play area, along with a toy owl, a teddy and a picnic blanket, children can retell a loved story time and time again. The activities don`t need to stop there – teachers could compose a letter from the owl asking how Baby Bear is. The children, in role as Baby Bear, could reply. Another idea would be to make rockets in junk modelling then practise counting backwards from 10 to 0 (ready for take-off!) Or, look at the journey time from Earth to the Moon in a rocket fitting in with the Space topic. The opportunities with this story are endless.

KS1 ‘The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

This much loved classic story incorporates a huge array of fairy tales and text types within one book. This can make the mind of a book lover swirl with uncontainable excitement. Looking at The Big Bad Wolf and his point of view is a lovely activity that can see children writing wanted posters, letters of apology, telling the Wolf’s story, drawing comic strips and researching wolves in non-fiction books. 

As well as being able to explore an endless variety of text types, this book also lends itself to reading other fairy tales and alternative fairy tales such as ‘The True Story of The Three Little Pigs’ by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. This book could also encourage classes to set up a post office role play area where children can write and address letters, design stamps, weigh parcels, sort money and draw maps to help the postman deliver all his letters. With so many activities that could be based on this book, ‘The Jolly Postman’ is definitely a book that boys and girls of all ages will find hard not to fall in love with.

KS2 ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl

Children, for 27 years, have read this book and fallen in love with Matilda. Sharing this book with children helps to share the magic that Roald Dahl created. He manages to put into words the love that many of us feel for books, through the eyes of a five year old genius. Using Chapter One, teachers can spark a dialogue about favourite books or books from different countries and cultures. Character comparisons are in abundance within this book, for example Miss Trunchbull vs Miss Honey. Matilda vs her family. Hot seating is another activity that can be used to bring this book to life and can also encourage children to develop their questioning and comprehension skills. This could be developed further into looking at the final part of the book when Matilda leaves her family to live with Miss Honey. Children could act out a court case and develop the skills of debating, persuasion and discussion. Alternatively, a more light-hearted activity, Children could look at the theme of superpowers, inventing their own and writing narratives exploring this theme. Matilda is a firm family favourite that will be shared for generations.

 Whatever you decide to read on World Book Day and whatever you decide to do, make sure you promote a love of reading with the children that you work with. There is no skill more powerful than being able to read. Fuelling this with a passion for reading can create a lifelong love for books, together with an endless ability to learn.

 Further Reading and resources

Whatever Next resources and ideas – Teaching ideas

The Jolly Postman resources and ideas Scholastic resources

Matilda resources and ideas – http://www.roalddahl.com

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