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.
Happy International Book Day to everyone!