Get reading in Children's Book Week

Nicola Davison and Sian Evans
14th July 2017
Reading books used in primary and secondary childrens book week

Celebrate top authors and illustrators by bringing books to life in your classroom

Children’s Book Week (18-25 August) exists to give teachers and librarians a chance to promote a love of books and reading through a variety of activities. This year, the theme is Escape to everywhere

So, why not join in with your class? We've got a range of hand-picked lesson ideas to not only improve key literacy skills, but also develop cultural awareness and a wider understanding of the world.

Whole school resources

What better way to kick-start the celebrations than with this engaging treasure hunt based on this year’s theme? Once your pupils have found a book to escape with, get them to send a postcard back to reality. On it, they can describe the time they've had with their favourite characters.

Celebrating books is as much about sharing them with others as it is about reading them. Ask students to write about their favourite books using these handy review templates for primaryupper primary and secondary classes. Similarly, this editable template is ideal for capturing pupils’ opinions in a display-worthy format.


Book review template

I use this to encourage my children, my free readers, to read novels and report back on them. They retrieve sheet from me once finished a book and I read review once they have written it, to check. They are filed into a class wallet folder for all children to read. The class often use this independently to find a 'new book&' that their peers have recommended, should they be struggling to find one for themselves. I researched book review templates out there and couldn&';t find one I was happy with. This is my version.
By hanaprice

Book Review Template for Upper Primary

Writing frame and template for a book review.
By pkramsden

Book review Mind Map

This is a blank mind map worksheet for creating a book review. Prints on A4, best photocopied up to A3 size. Pupils fill in boxes with brief descriptions as prompted for story characters, draw and label the elements of the storyline, tick boxes to show the genre and their opinions in brief, fill in other boxes to give a summary of their overall opinion of the book. A much more appealing and accessible alternative to a formal written book review, which still includes all the important elements.
By HJames4


Use this flipbook organiser to scaffold the structure of a fiction Book Report. The prompts for each of the key elements of the Report will help students write effectively and keep on track.

→ Six posters/anchor charts on a fiction book report and its key elements. Print, laminate and display in class and/or view as PDF slideshow.

→ Cover (editable) templates x 8 (students details and quote editable)

→ Editable templates x 5: The Setting, Main Characters, The Summary (x2), What I Thought (prompts editable)

→ Lined sheets for publishing x 4
→ Teacher Marking Rubric x 3
→ Self-editing and Peer editing Checklists
→ Banners (plain and decorated)

♦ Project the PDF file on the interactive notebook to introduce the parts of a fiction book report via the posters/anchor charts. Also show students the flipbook templates and completed sample. Discuss the requirements for each template of the book report.

♦ Have students collect information in their flipbook on the specific book under study. This could also serve as their draft where they could use the self-editing and peer-editing checklists to edit. Finally have students publish on given writing sheets or type out content from draft observing corrections.

You can choose either of the two options.
⇒ Print out the templates in blackline. Cut around each template and assemble from smallest template to largest template. Have students colour in pages. Staple at top tab for flipbook or glue descending order in notebook.

⇒ Print out the templates on cardstock (different colours). Cut around each template and assemble. Attach at top.

→ For grades 2-3, bundle up to 6 sheets together after sorting, align them perfectly and cut.

→ For grades 4-6, students are old enough to cut and compile flipbooks on their own. I have my students compile all sections of the flipbook prior to research and writing.

After completion, display students’ flipbooks under the Banner.

These flipbooks are sure to make an interesting bulletin board display.
By Laurane Rae

Primary resources

Ideal for guided reading, these versatile task cards suggest a range of activities that can be used before or after reading any fiction or non-fiction book. Or, why not develop learners’ skills further through reciprocal reading? These structured role cards help to support the comprehension of any text.

For something more traditional, try this fully resourced Dreamtime lesson, which ultimately gets students retelling the stories in their own words. Similarly, use these task cards to encourage your class making connections and think more deeply as they reflect upon the dreaming legends.


Guided Reading task cards

A set of tasks for non-fiction and fiction texts that can be used to follow up on a guided reading session or help prepare for the next one. I have these laminated in sets in my folders so I can easily set my groups doing different tasks. Topics also included; non-fiction.

By liz_alston2004

Literature Circles

Reciprocal reading. A brief teacher's guide. A set of role cards to be laminated and used within reading group. Suitable/adaptable for a range of abilities
By jlott1

Aboriginal Dreamtime Retell

WILF - Retell of Australian Dreamtime Story. Using QAR Comprehension, closed text and PowerPoints to make these text become familiar so childred can complete a written retell and present it to the class.
By GARY2010

Myth Legend from Australia TIDDALIK Text & Task Cards Make Connections & Close Questions

This is a dreaming legend from Australian Aborigine culture. Retold Story and Task Cards with close questions, asking students to make connections and think as they read. This is a great resource for your reading centre.
This is a dreaming legend from Australian Aborigine culture. Retold Story and Task Cards with close questions, asking students to make connections and think as they read. This is a great resource for your reading centre.

These tasks require students to make connections (Text to Self; Text to Text; Text to World)
There are also tasks encouraging Close Reading Skills and higher order thinking.
If students use all 8 cards, it will have sufficient reading and writing activities for approx 2 weeks.
Included in the package
1.There is a poster, which explains Making Connections whilst reading.
2.There is a traditional tale that I have retold. This is an Australian Aboriginal Legend called, "Tiddalik."
3.The tale comes with its own set of 8 task cards, plus black ink master pages. I use these pages to make a small interactive book for the story. The students can complete their tasks, writing and drawing in this little book. You’ll need multiple pages, if you want to make a booklet. These masters can also be pasted into notebooks or simply not used, if you prefer.
4.There are 8 Task Cards, all of which give students at least two choices of tasks.
5.I’ve included Text to Self, Text to Text and Text to World for every story.
6.I’ve then included some thinking questions and Close Reading tasks to make students delve more deeply into the story and understand their ideas and interpretations.
7.There's a tracking sheet, so students and teacher can record work as it is completed.

Australian spelling on A4.

I have other similar sets, with stories from different land if you like them! I also have a money-saving BUNDLE of 6 tales.
By mareehenderson21

Secondary resources

Complement the study of any novel with one of the activity suggestions in this comprehensive guide. Or, for something more specific, examine Louis Sachar’s Holes in detail with help from this resource pack, containing chapter-by-chapter comprehension questions.

Older learners may prefer these thought-provoking tasks on Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, or this analytical introduction to John Marden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began, which uses de Bono’s thinking hats.


101 Novel Ideas: Inspiration for the tired teacher

Inspiration for the tired teacher. 101 things to do with a novel. A resource with a list of English activities that complement the study of any class novel.
By Tes English

HOLES - Chapter-by-chapter Comprehension Questions + ANSWER KEY

1) The Pre-reading Survey:

This is a fun way to orient and introduce students to some of themes and topics in the novel. Have students complete it individually, or by interviewing a friend. Revisit it as a post-reading activity to see if students’ opinions have changed.

2) Chapter-by-chapter Comprehension Questions:

These literal, inferential, reflective, and analytical comprehension questions are perfect for homework or classwork. They have been designed to alert and orient students to pertinent plot information, themes, and concepts in the story; therefore, allowing them to engage more deeply with the novel. They can form the basis of class discussions or reading journals. The number of questions ranges from 2 to 12 per chapter, depending on the breadth and depth of the content of the chapter.

3) The Story Tracking Worksheet.

A story tracking worksheet is provided for the characters in the novel.
By LanguageArtsLab

Looking for Alibrandi

The following curriculum documents support the teaching of the popular novel 'Looking for Alibrandi'.
By marrinerk

John Marsden The Rabbits Thinking Hats

An analysis of 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. The analysis uses the 6 thinking hats idea. It was used as an introductory activity to Marsden's "Tomorrow when the War Began."
By Suzbrawn

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