World Book Day 2023: 10 Ideas for School

World Book Day 2023 is just around the corner on March 2nd. It’s a chance to ignite your student’s love of reading, help their literacy, phonics and vocabulary skills, and have a fun book-filled day at school. To help you get your lesson plan sorted, here are some playful ideas for costumes, lessons, and games for your class.

Let’s make World Book Day 2023 the best one yet with these fun-filled ideas…

When is World Book Day?

World Book Day 2023 is on the 2nd of March, and it’s an annual event. 

What is World Book Day?

It’s an event run by the World Book Day charity to “promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.” They do this through £1 books and tokens, social media campaigns, free resources for schools and families, and online events.

Why Get Involved in World Book Day?

Reading for pleasure has been said to be one of the best ways to ensure a child’s future success, with those who read books often estimated to achieve better results in Maths, vocabulary and spelling tests as they grow. However, research shows that just 47.8% of children aged 8-18 enjoyed reading, and those on Free School Meals were less likely to enjoy it, as well.

A love of reading and improved literacy has been linked to feeling less lonely, an improved sense of society and trust, boosted empathy and better self-esteem. There are no obvious downsides to reading either - the only barriers are motivation and opportunity – two things World Book Day hopes to help young readers overcome.

World Book Day 2023 Costumes for Teachers

One of the main things that make World Book Day fun is dressing up. It’s a chance to share your favourite or underappreciated characters and express yourself. You could go the character route and interpret the text your way or go for a different look with a shirt or dress with book designs on, come dressed as a crayon, or wear a hat or accessories made of books. 

Fun Character Costume Ideas for Teachers:

1) Miss Honey from Matilda – An under-the-radar option that only requires a floral dress, a cardigan and some glasses. It's low-effort but great for introducing Roald Dahl's books.

2) Mary Poppins – A classic fictional teacher who adds a zany touch with the bird umbrella. An excellent choice if you’re reading the book or learning about the Edwardian era and suffragettes.

3) Chiron from Percy Jackson and the Olympians – An excellent opportunity to lark about with fake horse legs or make your wheelchair the hero of the day as you learn about Greek history.

4) Peter Pan – A beloved character that can be played by anyone! Perfect for lessons about plays and theatre.

5) Where’s Wally – The elusive travelling hero from the books come to life! An excellent option to introduce reluctant readers to books in a fun way.

World Book Day 2023 Game Ideas

World Book Day is about promoting reading for pleasure and increasing literacy in children. However, those reluctant to read will need some support to just pick up a book. Playing games and doing fun book-related activities is a great way to introduce them to new stories and encourage them to read more. So here are some activities you can do:

1) Make a book – you can cut up paper and staple it all together to make multi-page blank books or create a single-page storyboard version instead but giving children the freedom to explore and be creative with their own stories is a great way to help them see the value and fun of books.

2) Make bookmarks – Colouring and creating their own bookmarks with their chosen theme and design will encourage them to use them in class or at home. You could even get the children to make book recommendation bookmarks for the whole class to use as inspiration for their next reading book.

3) Make some classroom bunting – give each child a triangle of bunting and let them decorate it with their favourite book theme. Seeing it displayed around the classroom with their classmates will remind them of the book they love and give them other options to read, too.

4) Reveal the picture PowerPoint game – where kids need to answer book-related questions to reveal a picture. There are plenty of templates and guides on how to make these online.

5) Book scavenger hunt – Book a session in the school library and give your students a list of books to find, such as a book about a Dog, a book set in another country, a book with a character that looks like you, etc.

World Book Day 2023 Lesson Ideas

Lessons are always organised and planned out well in advance, but there are ways to include World Book Day themes in your regular lesson plan.

For example, consider assigning class homework to read a book about the historic time or geographical place (The Tiger Child by Joanna Troughton or Meg and the Romans by Jan Pienkowski), use characters and books to help visualise maths problems (many Weasley children would there be if the twins left) or choose funny words or names (Miss Trunchbull and Willy Wonka) from books in your spelling and vocab lessons. You could even assign a reading list for the year – here are some book lists we made earlier to help:

Of course, you could always plan to do a guided reading session on the day to kick-start the fun, too. And consider trying assistive technology for those with reading issues like dyslexia.

World Book Day offers loads of opportunities to engage book lovers and reluctant readers alike, you just need to figure out which activity and lesson will have the best impact. Hopefully, these ideas will be of some help – which do you think you’ll try?

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