Thursday, 8 March 2012

World Book Day

I work in a secondary school so World Book Day is a little more low-key than I imagine it is in primary schools - I love the idea of dressing like book characters and doing book related things all day but I can't take pupils off timetable very often and without an excellent reason and I'm not sure that my cool teens would be prepared to dress up!  So I try to do something that doesn't take too much preparation, doesn't disturb teaching at all, and is good fun.  I tend to have a week of little things happening e.g. a pairs competition (find and match up the pairs around the library - different ones each day), or sevens (find seven words/names and tell me the link), quizzes, text tales (write a story in 140 characters)...this year was the simplest yet, but in some ways the most effective.  

I was allowed to take the year 7s off timetable to meet an author on the Monday, Sam Gayton, to talk about his book The Snow Merchant.  They really enjoyed listening to Sam read some of the story and got really involved when he discussed the process of illustrating his characters (the pictures in the book are lovely).  He also treated us to a sneak preview of his new book, a sequel to Gulliver's Travels!

Then a small challenge in the library: each break something new on the whiteboard for the kids to write their responses to:

I also had "worst book I've read" but most pupils put down books they've read in English - a good demonstration of why I didn't choose to do English beyond G.C.S.E. - so I didn't take a photo!  My final one, lunch break on Friday, was "my favourite book" but a teacher rubbed it off while I went to have my lunch before coming back with my camera :-(  We had a great time discussing their answers, I gave a raffle ticket to each pupil that put an answer, except to one of my favourite Year11s who insisted on putting 'OCR science revision guide' as his answer to every question, except for the 'best boyfriend' one for which he put himself :-)

I always like to do something that can get the whole school involved on the day itself.  In previous years I've asked for staff to volunteer to wear a badge so that the pupils have to find them and discover the links (e.g. character & their book, job and book title), created a form that the kids have to fill out during the day, and then had prizes for the completed entries handed in.  This year I made it as easy as was humanly possible - I put a sticky label in the pigeon holes of every member of staff on wednesday afternoon and sent them an email saying they need to write their favourite childhood book on it and wear it all day thursday.  On thursday morning I gave the kids that were in the library a form with 2 columns - staff name and book title - and told them to harrass any staff they saw without a label...word spread, lots more forms were collected from me throughout the day.   All except 2 teachers took part and some of them pupils had nearly 70 staff members written on their pages!  I gave raffle tickets out - the more answers the more tickets - and at the end of the day I had a queue of about 1/4 of the pupils in the school with pages of responses.  It took me 40minutes to get through them all and, including those for the whiteboard questions, I gave out over 800 raffle tickets!  All I had for prizes were small chocolates, some boxes of maltesers and half a dozen books, but still, they love winning doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take a huge amount of time to get everyone involved and recognising the Library


  1. To Batgirl, you are really cool, love The Invisible Woman

  2. Brilliant ideas Caroline. What were some f he staff's fave books?

  3. A nice variety of things, mostly Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton though!