World Book Day, Night and Quick Reads

Today is World Book Day, an initiative aimed mainly at children to promote reading by celebrating the importance of stories in children’s lives.

Schools all over the UK will have been holding events such as dressing up like your favourite book character and creating displays to show how important books are.

Children are given a £1 book token either to spend on a range of specially commissioned books or towards the cost of another book.

The World Book Day initiative is linked to Quick Reads which are short books by popular authors aimed at adults. This project is part of the Reading Agency which as the name suggest promotes different reading initiatives.

There are 6 new books published this year and there are teaching resources developed to go with them.

Quick Reads 2016

The resources for this year’s books can be obtained from here

They include ideas for lessons based on the books that include speaking and listening, reading and ICT research activities and sometimes Numeracy. All resources have got tutor notes

The Quick Reads are £1 each like the books produced for children to spend their £1 book token on, the key to this is to encourage adults with low Literacy skills to participate as well as for many adults they may only go into a bookshop when their children get the token.

Even though World Book Day is aimed at children there are lots of ideas that can be used in adult learning as well, maybe not dressing up but getting your students to write about a favourite character from childhood.

It doesn’t have to be a book character could be from TV but remember that many TV characters came originally from books or comics (think Marvel Superheros) so there are literary links.

A good idea for a group that includes parents of young children is a Story Book Bag or Story Sacks where the parents develop activities based around a text – this can be linked to a series of DARTS (Directed Activities Related to Texts)  style activities suitable for the age of the child and can include toys, puppets, games, number work etc linked to the story.

The activities are all put in a bag to be used at home with the child to stimulate interest in reading. For some ideas for these look at this web site.

There is also guidance on creating story sacks here at the National Literacy Trust

This Pinterest site has got some good ideas for puppets – I really think I need a set of these Hungry Caterpillar finger puppet gloves!

Hungry Caterpillar glove-puppet

You could even get your group to write their own story and make a sack based on that. I have found some story character and story setting dice which are great for generating ideas in a group. They come from the Sparklebox site which has loads of free printable resources for working with children.

Click on the links below to download the PDF files.

Story sack dice – characters                                        Story sack dice – settings

Despite all the technology we have around us books are still vitally important to lots of people and have huge advantages over the digital word – as one of my friends recently said “you’re not going to say ‘here you must read this great book – borrow my Kindle’ “, and World Book Night  has been set up in addition to World Book Day so that adults can share their love of reading.

World Book Night will take place on Sat 23rd April this year, which is Shakespeare’s birth and death date,  and the idea is that 1 million books from a selected list will be given to people who registered with the site before the end of Jan to give away to encourage people to read. Each participant gets 16 of their chosen book to give away on that day.

The books are mainly suitable for higher level readers, unlike the Quick Reads, featuring again mainstream authors as illustrated below but including a couple of the Quick Reads in the giveaway. It would be worth registering for the site later on this year for next year’s giveaway.

WBN_ Books 2016

Even if you felt that the books were not suitable for your Literacy class a book swap could be held for your own World Book Night /Day with people bringing along a book they had read and maybe even designing a poster to tell people what it is about and why they should read it.

Would like to leave you with probably the best quote that I have read about the value of reading, from a prisoner called Dave written about in this blog post  from the Reading Agency website.

“Once you get reading, there’s no stopping you. You can go anywhere. Explore the whole world.”

So true – happy reading everyone!


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