Book Week 2016

Book Week 2016 is nearly here! Book Week is one of my favourite school events on the calendar, and this year I'm the Book Week Coordinator at my school. I thought I'd share some ideas and activities for Book Week.

Hi, it's Jem from Jem's Bright Buttons. I love books; that's my classroom bookshelf in the picture above - and that's not the whole bookshelf! Book Week is a great opportunity to celebrate reading! I think it's really important that all students are exposed to lots of opportunities to read, explore books and other texts, and respond to them.

The Book of the Year is announced on the third Friday in August, and Children's Book Week starts the following day. This year Book Week is Saturday 20th August to Friday 26th August. The theme this year is:

It's a great theme with lots of possibilities.

At my school we will be having a Book Parade on the Monday morning. All staff and students are invited to dress up as a character from a book (we accept pretty much everything though!). This year, because it's close to the Olympics, and because we are holding it in the first week of our Inquiry on the Earth & Space Science curriculum, we will be encouraging students to dress up as sportspeople or as something to do with space. We sit together outside (if the weather is ok), play fun music, and each grade parades around in a circle to show off their wonderful costumes. It's a very well supported event! And it's so much fun!!

As the Book Week coordinator at my school I share a list of possible activities for teachers to complete in their literacy times during Book Week. This means that teachers choose what will suit their students, and it can be less disruptive to an already very full curriculum. Below are some of my suggestions/ideas. Some of the ideas link to the theme, but I also think Book Week is just a fantastic opportunity to celebrate literature and reading in any way possible.

  • Mystery readers – invite some parent volunteers to come into your classroom at an appropriate time to read their favourite book, or a book you’ve suggested, to the class
  • Book Swap – run an ‘in-class’ Book Swap. Students bring in some books they no longer want (with parents permission), and swap their books for others that have been brought in
  • Read Dreamtime stories and connect the stories to the Australian land (linking with the theme)
  • Students could make their own mini story books and read them to students in a different class (emphasising that everyone is an author)
  • Read a different shortlisted book to your class every day (or one of your favourite books every day). Shortlisted books can be found here
  • Link literature and your Inquiry/theme/topic by reading and exploring books about the Inquiry/theme/topic
  • Read back through previous award winners or shortlisted books (can be found here); read well-known stories by Australian authors
  • Ask students to draw the front cover of their favourite book and make a display
  • Make an anchor chart of different ways we read and different things we read (read the text, read the pictures, retell the story; read books, magazines, newspapers, catalogues, websites, games, etc.)
  • Ask students to bring in a book that their parent/aunt/uncle/grandparent loves, and share them with the class
  • Play ‘Celebrity Heads’ with well-known book characters
  • Get students to write ‘Who am I?’ clues for their favourite book characters
  • Have groups of students practice and perform well-known stories, or readers theatre activities
  • Have an extra ‘independent reading’ time every day during Book Week for students to enjoy books; allow them to pick different books, or different text types; spend some time reading and sharing books from the school library
  • Have an in-class reading challenge – who can read the most books in the week? Who can read the widest variety of texts? Who can read to the most number of people?
  • Hold a class discussion about stories: what are they? Where do they come from? How do you know if they’re true stories? Are there different types of stories? What do stories tell us? How do we tell stories?
  • Write a rhyming poem after reading Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas (find a YouTube video of the story here)
  • Make a comic strip to retell a favourite story, a Dreamtime story, an Australian story, a fairy tale, etc.
  • Use toys or paper puppets to construct a scene from a favourite story, photograph the scene, print the photo, and have students write about what happened before the scene and what will happen next
  • Ask students to write a story about Australia
  • Look at wordless books (like Window or Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker) and have students tell the story in their own words
  • Write a journey story about visiting somewhere in Australia
  • Complete the My Dead Bunny word search (find it here)
  • Film/photograph any of these activities and share them on Seesaw or ClassDojo, or another parent communication tool, like your school newsletter

You might like to do some directed drawings of Aussie animals like Sheri from Early Years with Sheri did with her class:

For some other great ideas check out these three posts from The Book Chook: Focus on Storytelling, Educational Activities, and Resources.

I hope these ideas might spark some fun, enjoyment and love of literature and reading during Book Week 2016!! I'm definitely looking forward to coming up with my costume, and making our reading lessons for the week all about the love of literature.

Thanks for reading!


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