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April 23rd – International Book Day

 

           As an avid reader and as a teacher, I am very happy about the theme celebrated on April 23rd – books! It is so important to have a day like this, let alone for educators and students. There are so many ways to make this day memorable and promote reading at the same time.

  • If your school has a library, no matter how big or small (and if the school you teach at has not planned otherwise), try to organize a book celebration, or if it is possible, invite a writer or illustrator of a book to talk with the kids. The students can ask them any questions about a specific book or writing and can learn about the process of writing and publishing a book. After that, you can use all this material with them in class and do projects! It is good not to expect this day though for a visit to the library – it should be something done at least once every two weeks in my opinion. If the school does not have a library, organizing a trip to the public one is also a good idea.
  • A lot of publishing houses can give teachers writers’ addresses, where the children can send the letters they write them. After reading a specific book in class, kids can write to the same or different authors and then on International Book Day, you can organize a whole day around the answers they get.
  • Organizing book fairs is additionally a great idea. We did that every year at the school we had in Greece and the kids could come (so could their parents) and even buy the books they liked. It puts kids into the process of browsing through the titles, checking blurbs and choosing eventually which (or hopefully, ones!) they want. A book fair can be organized in collaboration with a publishing house directly or even through your local library.
  • Schools can even put on theatrical plays with the students, based on books. This can require a lot of work, as you may not find the adaptation of a book and you might have to do it on your own, but the results are excellent and the whole effort will surely be worth it. The kids will learn about the book and how a play or movie can be adapted from a book and so will the rest of the school!
  • Kids can make their own books on International Book Day. They can write the story (teachers can start that process even days before the big day), make the covers, the illustrations and then along with the teachers, bind their books and have them on display for the rest of the school to look through.
  • Some publishing houses are generous and donate books to schools. Should you manage as a teacher to strike such a good deal, you can put them in special gift bags and give them to the children!

The list of things to do on International Book Day is practically endless. If you have any other ideas, please feel free to recommend them.

The library we had at The Loras English Academy in Greece - our beautiful school, which we are very proud of!

Happy International Book Day to everyone!

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11 thoughts on “April 23rd – International Book Day”

  1. To transmit the love for reading you have to be a lover of reading yourself, and that you seem to be, dear Vicky.

    The power of extensive reading for language acquisition is invaluable, and there is so much more beyond language acquisition that you can get from books.

    It’s great to see teachers organising these celebrations of reading and the pleasure of holding a book in your hands – children and teenagers are marked by such events, so important, especially if reading is not encouraged or promoted at home for whatever reason.

    If you can’t get hold of a visiting author, why not invite someone online to be interviewed by your students?

    I am sure that an online chat can be arranged!

  2. Hi Marisa and thank you for you kind words and lovely comment!
    What a great idea – perhaps Skyping an author! That is great and thank you for recommending it.
    And how right you are – it is up to educators to promote reading, if the kids do not have the encouragement from home.
    Thank you so much for commenting and for your great idea! You just gave me a good one and if I ever materialize it, I will surely mention you!
    Kindest regards,
    Vicky

  3. Dear Vicky,
    I like your ideas on the book day especially adapting a book to a play. I think another idea (concerning our students are tech sawies) may be creating online books. There are a lot of sites to create and publish online books. Here’s a nice one:
    http://www.bookemon.com

    Thanks for sharing your ideas:)
    @ekamin

    1. Hi Esra and thank you for reading and commenting!
      What a great website you recommend – I am definitely using it with the kids! Thank you so much for that, I really appreciate it.
      Thank you again for the kind words and wonderful resource you have shared!
      All the best,
      Vicky

  4. Lovely post, Vicky, reminding people of World Book Day. This takes me back in time to Ms Gove, our primary school librarian, who’s responsible for turning me into a bookworm. I wish I had her gift!

    I have to admit this is my favourite time of year at school. We started celebrating WBD a couple of years ago and rather than keeping it to 1 day, we decided to dedicate the whole month to books & reading. My favourite part is the Book Reading sessions we do in a local primary school. We have so much fun with those kids.

    Last year I invited a Canadian writer, who I follow on twitter, to participate in an activity with my Advanced teens. He tweets 140-character stories called “twisters” and I had my students expand them into 140-word stories. Arjun selected the best one in a competition and then my students interviewed him live on twitter. This year we want to experiment with digital stories, like http://www.inanimatealice.com/ .

    Hope you have loads of fun with your students on WBD!

    Luv,
    Anna

    1. Anna, thank you so much for your wonderful reply!
      It is great that you celebrate the whole month with books – much better than just one day!
      It is wonderful that you still remember your school librarian who instilled in you and other kids I am sure the love of books – it is very important to remember these people. They have left their mark in the most significant way possible! (You know what our school librarian was called in Canada? Mrs. ….Booky! Amazing!)
      Book readings that you mention are a great idea and kids love them.
      About the writer….don’t tell me it is THE Arjun Basu? He’s on Twitter? (Insert screams and me jumping up and down) Wow! I’m following him this instant! And what a great idea of having your students interview him on Twitter!
      Thank you so much for the link.
      Anna, what a great comment filled with ideas! Thank you, much appreciated! Have a super World Book Day this year!
      Kindest regards,
      Vicky

  5. Vicky Loras, if International Book Day isn´t YOUR FAVOURITE Celebration, than I don´t know what is! Ha ha ! Once a bookworm always a bookworm and among the few children who didn´t want to play but only wanted to read … and knew to do so since Pre – K. I always wanted my children to love books like Vicky does as this is truly the only way they will actually read…if they love books. So far my daughter Maggie, 5, has a library not a bookcase at home and is already bored of a large number of these books. That is how many she has been read and how many she has flipped through, how many she has used the illustrations of to create her own fascinating stories and how many more we are more than willing to buy her to continue this incredible life investment. Let´s see if we have the same effect on Nicholas, 7 months, Vics!
    The sky is the limit and the stars are always bright. Just look up more often. With all my love, G (Eugenia G. Loras).

    1. Hi Gina!
      What can I say?
      Thank you for everything you have done for me (because you must know that my eldest sister was my first teacher – she taught me how to read!And not only that. She first opened our school in Greece).
      It makes me very happy to see Maggie enjoying books so much – and I love it whenever I see kids enjoying books in general, visiting libraries and book fairs with their parents or teachers. I am positive that baby Nicholas will follow in Maggie’s footsteps as well!
      Thanks for also reminding me to look up more often. I tend to forget most of the time.
      Love you and thank you for everything!
      Vicky

  6. Hi Vicky,

    International book day can be great fun it’s true. I never actually celebrated it when I worked in a private language which is quite shameful as I love reading myself. I’ve been working in a public primary school for the past three years and we do celebrate it every year with various story telling activities.

    This year I gave out book marks to various groups of children which I downloaded from http://www.sparklebox.com they were in English and the children loved them! In another school I work in, the teacher got the children to choose a famous personality and then write simple sentences about them. A group of seven year olds filled in simple stems like She’s got…… then they went to the computer room and found images and printed them to decorate their book marks.

    Simple but effective.

    Thanks Vicky

  7. Hi Leahn and welcome to my blog!
    Thank you for reading and commenting.
    Thank you so very much for the link (I will definitely be using it) and for the great idea with the bookmarks- it is fantastic!
    Great to have your ideas here. I really appreciate it!
    Kindest regards,
    Vicky

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