World Book Day 3 March 2016

Over the last few decades, reading has faced growing competition from television, computer games and smartphones for children’s leisure time.  According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Literacy Trust, 40.7% of children aged between eight and eleven read outside the classroom every day, with 34.7% reading a few times a week, and around 14% reading less than once a month.  

Although the figure of 75.4% of children in this age group reading at least a few times a week is encouraging, British society should not be complacent about inspiring the remaining proportion of children to read more often. 

I believe that, as is so often the case in life, the more one puts into an activity, the more one gets out of it.  While watching Youtube videos or interacting with friends on social media can be enjoyable and easy, reading a good book can be much more rewarding and enjoyable, even if it requires more concentration and effort.  

Persuading children of the joys of reading is the aim of World Book Day, an ‘international celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading’ organised by UNESCO, which falls on the 3rd of March this year.

One method to encourage more reading among children is UNESCO’s scheme to provide all school children with a new book of their own by sending book token packs to schools, along with World Book Day resource packs with ideas on how to participate in this celebration.  

This year, World Book Day is asking book lovers to take part in the ‘Bumper Book Quiz’ an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people participating in simultaneous book quizzes.  The World Book Day website contains book quizzes for KS1,KS2 and KS3 available for teachers to download so they can mark this event.

There are plenty of other ways to celebrate reading in the classroom.  Asking students to come to school dressed as their favourite literary character is a good way to bring a book to life.   Sharing your own reading experiences with your pupils is also a good way to promote reading.  More ideas can be found here.

Please share with us your ideas for encouraging reading in the classroom!

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