Friday, May 4, 2018

Activities for Kids - Children’s Book Week 2018

by Susan Stephenson,

Earlier this week, I reminded you that Children’s Book Week in Australia will be celebrated from August 17 - 24 in 2018. The CBCA theme this year is: Find Your Treasure! I had suggestions for teachers, librarians and parents who want to celebrate Children’s Book Week with their kids, including links to free PDFs I’ve created that might be useful for things like Treasure Hunts and activities on ways to find book treasures. All those can be found in Ideas for Children’s Book Week 2018.

Today my focus is more on prompts and suggestions addressing kids directly, ideas that nudge them towards thinking about treasure in general and book treasures in particular. Above all I have tried to brainstorm ideas that help kids discover the FUN of learning, and the enormous pleasure that being a reader can bring. Some of these activities have a corresponding PDF I’ve created - these, as always, are free to parents, teachers and librarians who want to share them with kids. Links to download them can be found below with their descriptions.


* What is treasure? We often hear the word treasure used in expressions like treasure hunt or treasure map, and it means riches like gold, silver and precious gems. But there’s a broader meaning of something “valuable or valued”. If something is valued, it means we really care about it and it’s very important to us. What do you care very much about that’s important to you?

* How would you find treasure? Where might you look?

* What are the most treasured or precious things in your life? Create a poster about them.

* Walt Disney said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island…” Can a book really be someone’s treasure? Why? Can you think of a time in the past when a book has been incredibly important and valued? Can you imagine a time in the future when a book could be a treasure? Share your ideas with a partner.

* Could a book ever be worth a lot of money? Do some research to find your answer.

* Name ten treasures in 30 seconds. Name 10 not-treasures in 30 seconds. Which list was easiest to write? What did you think about this activity?

Book Chook Challenge for Readers

Take photos of yourself, or have someone do it for you, as you read different books in these places. Record your book’s name, your own name and the kind of place it is, on each image. Make a collage of all the images then print it out and give it to your teacher/librarian for display under the caption, “We ARGH Readers.”

I am reading:

somewhere amazing
somewhere high
somewhere with flowers
somewhere strange
somewhere underneath
somewhere with treasure
somewhere low
somewhere with a sign
somewhere comfortable
somewhere unusual


# How can we keep treasure safe? Invent something that will keep a treasure safe. Draw and label your invention.

# Here is an unfinished 6-panel comic called Find Your Treasure. What two book treasures can you add to finish it? Create your own comic where one character likes to share books.

Download: Free PDF, Find Your Treasure Comic. (in colour)

# Interview friends, family and/or others to discover a book that means a lot to them. Can they explain why it does? Get together with your classmates and make a list of all these books. How can you display your list and persuade others to take a look at them?

# Photograph yourself with the cover of your favourite book. Get together with some friends and make a collage of all your images. Print them out and make a display for other students. Write some persuasive text that will entice them to read your books!

# Create a story called Find Your Treasure. Write your name at the top of the PDF, Treasure Story Elements. Then roll a dice to choose a main character, a setting, and a plot point to base your story around. On the second page, write a three sentence summary of your story. Then storyboard your ideas. After you finish all this preparation, go on to create some kind of digital story to share with an audience.

Download: Free PDF, Treasure Story Elements (2 pages)

# Create a song based on a familiar tune about the Children’s Book Week theme, “Find Your Treasure.”

# Take or locate a digital image of yourself. Use an app that allows you to import that photo and draw on it to make a pirate version of you. For fun, I used the iPad app, Drawing Pad, to add strange face paint, colourful hair, earrings and a turkey to sit on my shoulder in the image below. Write a limerick or acrostic poem about your pirate self.

# Choose one of your favourite books and re-tell part of its story in your own words. You could also choose one of the CBCA notable books for 2018. To illustrate your characters and setting, try using a flattened 3D material like modelling clay or collaged papers stuck onto card as a background. If you photograph your page(s) you can then make a digital version and type your re-told text.

# If you found something very valuable and sold it, you might get a lot of money. Would that be a good thing? What problems might you have? If you had a lot of money, how would you spend it? At the top of a page or document, write down the amount of money your imagination would like. Now underneath make a list of all the things you would like to do with that money. Which ones would be your top three?

# Imagine you are a pirate. Choose your own pirate name or figure it out via my PDF, Find Your Pirate Name. (My pirate name is Flappychops Von Ouchy-Pocket!) Your treasure is your favourite book. You hear that a rival gang of pirates want to steal your treasure. Create a clever hiding place for your treasure then work out and record a plan to keep it safe.

Download: Free PDF, Find Your Pirate Name.

# Just imagine you had five hundred dollars to buy books for your library. Look at book catalogues, book stores, publishers’ websites and book reviews to create a list of the books you would like to buy. Get together with your friends and agree on one list of your ten best recommendations to present to your school or local librarian.

# Would you like to design your own map for some treasure? Here’s one I made, and then there’s space for you to draw a version of your own. What land forms will you have? Where will the land and the water be? Will there be strange sea monsters? What symbols will you choose to indicate different elements for your map? (Teachers, would your kids like to make their own digital map? To make my original digital version, I used Mac software, Pages. I drew map lines with the pen tool, and added animals and objects from the shape menu.)

Download: Free PDF, Treasure Map (2 pages)

# How many books about pirates or treasures can you find in your library or classroom? Which ones would you like to read?

# How many books about pirates or treasures can you find in an internet search? Which ones would you like to read?

# Set up a book treasure hunt for someone younger. First choose some of your favourite books. Next, write down each title in a list. Then hide each book somewhere. (If you are a bit forgetful, you could take a photo of each hiding place, or describe each hiding place on your list.) As your young friend tries to find the first book, you could give them clues like tell them when they are “warm” (getting closer to the hiding place) or “cool” (getting further away from the hiding place.) Mark each title off once it’s found so you’ll know when the game is over. As a prize, why not read a story to your younger friend.

# Play a game of hiding treasure and learn about map co-ordinates in Buried Treasure. This activity is inside my Children’s Book Week 2018 PDF Booklet. You need to complete the top row and side column with either letters or numbers, finish drawing the map, and then “bury” your treasure for a friend to find. There’s also an activity that asks kids to try different methods of finding books. Read more about it in Ideas for Children’s Book Week 2018 at The Book Chook.

Download: Free PDF, Book Week 2018 Booklet

You might also like to check out my Creative Prompts for Kids series, especially Creative Prompt for Kids - Start with a Map.

If you’re looking for books that might become treasures to children near you, check back here for Finding Picture Book Treasures - Book Week 2018 and Finding Chapter Book Treasures - Book Week 2018. 

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