Fun Literacy Lessons for World Book Day
On the first Thursday of every March, we ditch the school uniforms to dress up as our favourite literacy legends. That’s right – it’s time for another World Book Day!
But it’s not all about the costumes, of course. World Book Day is the perfect time to inspire your class to become world-famous authors themselves, with their own masterpieces just waiting to be written.
Guided by some chart-topping titles, our World Book Day lesson ideas can help you to curate some serious creativity in the classroom – while also encouraging independent reading.
So, let’s dig in to some of 2019’s most popular page turners, and discover some fun literacy activities therein.
1. Fing, by David Walliams
“Sometimes perfectly nice parents have children who are monsters. Meet the Meeks.”
Myrtle has everything she could ever want, as her librarian parents – Mr and Mrs Meek – work to fulfil her ever-increasing demands. However, when Myrtle demands a “FING”, they’re utterly stumped; resulting in an adventure through forbidden library vaults, the pages of the Monsterpaedia and even the jungle.
Aside from teaching children that being a brat is unkind to your well-meaning parents, there’s plenty of literacy fun to be extracted from a story full of imaginary monsters and fantasy lands.
Can the children use their best adjectives to describe their very own ‘Fing’? Will it be a friend or a foe? And, more importantly, can they draw a picture of their monstrous friend, complete with annotated descriptive words?
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
“'Wingardium Leviosa!' he shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill.
'You're saying it wrong,' Harry heard Hermione snap. 'It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the "gar" nice and long.'
'You do it, then, if you're so clever,' Ron snarled.
Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand and said, ‘Wingardium Leviosa!'
Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.”
Of course, we all know the story by now, as J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel has dominated reading lists since its release in 1997 – as well as every book in the series since.
Although the capes and magic wands might feel a little overdone in the World Book Day costume stakes, Hogwarts is still likely to rouse even the most reluctant readers – so it’s certainly worth including in your lesson plan.
Consider writing a fun story about casting a spell. What is the spell? What does it do?
For younger children, consider using cards that they can mix and match, which depict a range of ingredients, actions and results.
The ‘bowl of raspberries’ is mixed with the ‘pinch of fairy dust’ to create a potion to become a ‘story-telling superstar’!
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway, by Jeff Kinney
“A few weeks ago, this holiday wasn’t even supposed to HAPPEN. We were just having a normal December, and I was really looking forward to Christmas.”
With the impending festivities proving stressful, Greg’s family decide to take a spontaneous vacation – but the paradise soon turns to peril, complete with sunstroke, sickness and venomous creatures.
Holiday destinations make for fantastic story-starters. Where did you travel to? Was it the holiday of your dreams, or the holiday of your nightmares?
To offer a little more structure (or perhaps tie in a with a topic the class have been studying), you could provide a specific destination, and discuss how the children in that country experience life in their home and school.
4. The Wonky Donkey, by Craig Smith
“I was walking down the road and I saw a donkey,
He only had three legs, one eye…
And he liked to listen to country music.
He was a honky-tonky
Winky wonky donkey!”
Based on a now well-known song, Craig Smith’s ‘Wonky Donkey’ is filled with fun rhymes, which the class will love turning a hand at themselves.
Try a rhyming game that goes around the class, where each child must try and think of a rhyming word, for example – cat, mat, hat, sat, bat, fat.
If you can’t think of a word, you’re out, until the last child standing is declared the winner!
5. Zog, by Julia Donaldson
“All the dragons from Year One were learning how to fly
‘High!’ said Madam Dragon. ‘Way up in the sky!’
‘Now that you’ve been shown, you can practice on your own
And you’ll be expert fliers by the time you’re fully grown.’”
Zog is the keenest dragon in school – but he’s also the most accident-prone, flying into trees and setting his own wing on fire.
Regardless – it’d be pretty fun to be a dragon and, if the children were in a Dragon School, they’d probably see some very interesting things.
Can the children write a story about learning to fly? What kind of things would they see from up in the air?
This can be ordered as ‘Where’, ‘How’, ‘Who’, ‘What’, to make the story creation a little easier.
Where did you fly? How did you get up into the air? Who did you see from the sky? What were they doing?
You could even round off the activity by drawing maps from a birds-eye view.
World Book Day promises to instil a love of reading in children throughout the UK, allowing both favourite and all-new stories to serve as conversation starters for further literacy study. Mighty Writer is the perfect classroom tool to encapsulate key writing skills in EYFS and KS1, allowing creative ideas to be expressed accurately, and with ease.