Monday, April 23, 2012

Activities for Children's Book Week 2012

This year, I want to give you plenty of time to prepare for what might be one of the most important celebrations ever: Children's Book Week 2012! It's set to take place in Australia from Saturday 18 to Friday 24 August. (If you're looking for Activities for Children's Book Week 2013, try here.)

The theme for 2012 is Champions Read. Here are some Book Chook ideas for learning activities you and your children/students might participate in to celebrate Children's Book Week 2012.

Read some of the short-listed books at the Children's Book Council of Australia website. You'll also find reviews at The Book Chook of For All Creatures, No Bears, Look, a Book! and The Last Viking. Write your own book review about one of the notable or short-listed books. Not sure how to get started? Check out How Do Kids Write a Book Review.

Organize a Readathon for your school, (perhaps to raise money for purchasing much-needed new books for your school library!) and have each student record the number of books he/she can read within a certain time frame eg four weeks. Design certificates for gold, silver and bronze readers.

Champions Read. There's no doubt about that! But what else could champion readers do with books? Consider inter-class contests where kids must build the tallest book tower, or set up a book-domino display. You could try writing a very short story using book titles, or even creating a haiku from book spines. Check out some examples at 100 Scope Notes. Use a video camera to capture footage of all these great events, or wrote an article about them for the school newsletter or website.

What other book-related contests can you dream up? How about a read-aloud marathon where classes nominate their champions and the champs go head-to-head? Can your school set up a world record breaking attempt like these schools in London? Investigate the Guinness World Record website for more book and reading ideas. If you have a reading contest, here is a free downloadable template for an award winner certificate.

Okay, so we know champions read. Who else reads? Do ducks read? Do elephants read? Or crabs? Or unicorns? If they did read, what books do you think they would like? Would your animal hero have any problems with reading? How could these be overcome? Can you create a simple picture book for a younger child about an animal character who reads? Extra marks if your animal hero is also a champion reader!

DLTK Custom Bookmarks

Here's a website where you can use templates to help make your own bookmarks: DLTK's Custom bookmarks. You just need to choose the options you want by clicking a radio button. I chose double-sided to make my dino-mite bookmark!

Tell a friend or relative about your favourite book of all time. Try to persuade them to read it too.

Write a book review about your favourite book of all time. If you're not sure how to get started, find help in my article, How Do Kids Write a Book Review?

Create a board game based on your favourite book of all time. Take a look at different board games to find a style or format you like, then come up with something unique of your own. You could include quiz cards with questions about literature, or chance cards with literary fates eg "You fall off wall and all the King's Horses can't put you together. Go back to start." You might even create a board game based on Champions Read!

Discuss what make a good book. What makes a bad book? Get together with some friends and invent the world's worst book title. Improvise an advertisement to trick people into buying that book. You might like to learn about methods advertisers use first. Perform your ads for an audience in a school assembly, another class or a family member.

Use Big Huge Labs to make some simple posters, signs and other fun items with images.

Create a Nota or Glogster about your favourite books and share it on your class blog or school website.

Design some posters or signs for your classroom or library about champions reading. Let your imagination go wild. Your poster could include famous people, book characters, animals, champions on the sporting field, or even you - reading! At top is a poster I found on Wikimedia Commons, then adapted for the Champions Read theme by adding text boxes and clip art. Or try ArtSkills' online poster maker. Use a photo site like school photo project to find images you can adapt to create your posters. Don't forget to give credit! Below is an image I adapted from SchoolPhotoProject and underneath is the attribution the site requires.  A Totally FREE Stock Photos Site!

Recommend some books for younger readers. Explain why you think these books will turn kids into reading champions.

Design the sort of medal you think a reading champion might like to wear. Construct a 2D or 3D model of it. Write a procedure explaining to someone else how to make it too.

Extreme Reading - take photographs of yourself and your friends reading in some unusual places. Which class can come up with the most extreme or most creative photos? Make it a contest and add bonus points if kids can include a staff member or celebrity reading in their photos. Highest marks to those who are reading a CBCA short-listed book!

Make comics about champions reading. You could use online superhero comic editors like Comic Master, StoryJumper, Storybird or Creaza. Or use Comic Life, reasonably priced software from Plasq for Mac, Windows and iPad, to create a digital story. Take some photos of yourself and your friends to use in the story. Or set up some shots using your toys and figurines. Then pop your photos in a template, add speech bubbles and text, and you have a champion writer's story!

Listen to some national anthems from other countries. Compose an anthem of your own about being or becoming a reading champion.

Watch this cute YouTube video : Pockyolympics. Can you and your friends invent your own Olympics?

Listen to some songs like We are the Champions (Queen) or Champions from World Cup 2010 (if suitable for your age group - check with a grown-up.) Can you learn the song, then innovate on the lyrics to create a song about champion readers?

Create a chant along the lines of Queen's We Will Rock You with a great percussion accompaniment and some moves to suit it. Maybe your chorus might be : We are, we are, readers!

Interview some people you consider to be champions. Not all champions are sporting heroes. Do they read? What sort of things do they read? Is reading important to them? Why?

Create a story about a champion bookworm. Draw your champion book worm. Give her/him a name. Who are her friends? Where does your bookworm live? What does he like to do? What is your bookworm's problem to solve? How is it solved?

Use your bookworm drawing to make a champion bookworm bookmark!

Invent a machine that has something to do with books and reading. Draw a plan or picture of your machine, or construct it. Perhaps it's a machine to help you read underwater or in the bath. It could even be a machine to convert a non-reader into a reader.

Get together with your friends to research and create a quiz based on children's literature. Maybe you could challenge another group of kids to see who knows the most about children's books.

Write some 30 second bed time stories based on well known tales. Practise telling the story aloud in only 30 seconds. Ask your friends to join in and act out the story really fast while you tell it. Perform your tales for another class.

Write a newspaper article that has something to do with champions reading. Brainstorm ideas and then choose your best one to develop. You could publish your finished article in this great newspaper powerpoint template.

Are there any people in your neighbourhood who have difficulty finding books to read? What could you do about that? Can you organise a book swap, a bookmobile or a teeny tiny library for them?

Follow the instructions to make your own 3D paper bookmobile.

Take a look at Google Doodles, particularly ones around the theme of books. Design your own doodle about reading.

Using this elephant song as a model, innovate about "Reading, I like reading…"

Write a reader's theatre based on your favourite picture book from when you were little.

Design a book cover for the book you would love to write.

These resources have more ideas you might use: How to Celebrate Book Week, Mrs Mac's Library, Kerri's Library Page.

2013: Children's Book Week Australia 2013 will take place August 17 - August 23. My website has free PDFs to help you celebrate! 


  1. Great resources for year round Reading and Writing!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your review of The Last Viking, going to order this for our class library next year. It looks perfect as a high interest book for our struggling readers! :)

  3. Must admit the subject line of this post scared the crappola out of me! I am so excited about book week this year, my first as a school mum! I can't wait to send her off to school dressed up as a book character, and I have fingers, toes and everything else crossed that they encourage the parents to dress up too, especially while she's still young enough not to be embarrassed by her mother! BabyG and I just finished reading Pippi Longstocking together so that has me thinking, but ultimately (and unfortunately!) the choice of character will be up to her!

  4. @Jackie H.Yes, we will have to make Book Week into Book Year!

  5. @learning parade I think lots of picture books are perfect for kids who struggle. Sometimes the vocab isn't as easy to decode as cvc words you find in basic readers, but oh, the books are such motivators to read!

  6. @Green Mama You MUST post pics of you attending on your blog! And Baby G will be choosing based on the books you read together? hmm...maybe steer away from the BFG or The Twits then!


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