April 29th-May 5th this year is Children’s Book Week, and 2019 is the 100th anniversary! Schools, libraries, and bookstores all over the world join forces this week to celebrate the power a story can have on our lives. Every Child a Reader, the organization behind Children’s Book Week, has put together an online map to help you find celebrations in your area.
This year’s theme is “Read Now: Read Forever” to remind us about the past, present, and future of children’s literature. Use these 11 reading activities to instill a love of books in your students while teaching key literacy skills.
2. Fictional Postcards: Have you ever loved a fictional character so much that you’d like to send them a letter? With this fun reading activity, students can use their imagination to decorate and “send” postcards to their favorite storybook characters.
3. Complete the Comic Activity: The official Children’s Book Week website has put together printable comics with space for kids to finish the story. Your children can create tales about scary space bugs, pint-sized mad scientists, or a mystery-solving team of babysitter sleuths!
4. Reading Around the World: This reading comprehension activity takes students on a trip across the globe from the comfort of your classroom. Provide your students with a map and a mountain of picture books and help them read a book featuring characters from every continent.
5. Book Character Word Search: This word search features characters from classic children’s books like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Tiny Tim. Print it out and challenge your students to see how quickly they can finish this cool reading game.
6. Story Sticks: Multisensory activities can help children with disorders like autism or dyslexia pick up essential reading skills. This reading comprehension game uses touch and visual aids to help students learn the elements of a story.
7. Letter to the Author: Sending a letter to the writer of their favorite book can mean a lot to your students. Use this educational activity to help kids write or email an author–if they’re lucky, they may even get a response!
8. Vote in the Children’s Choice Book Awards: During Children’s Book Week, Every Child a Reader hosts the Children’s Choice Book Awards so educators can enter votes from their students and find the best loved book of the previous year. If you teach older grades too, you can also have your students vote in the Teen Choice Book Awards.
9. Write Your Own Picture Book: Even young elementary students have plenty of creativity and stories to tell. By stapling together pieces of blank paper, this activity for elementary students shows students how to make and illustrate their own “mini-books.”
10. Library Field Trip: Visiting your city or school library together can help give kids a love of reading from a young age. If you have their parents’ permission, you can even help them sign up for their very own library card.
11. School Storytelling Party: Use all of the fun ideas above to plan your own school event celebrating children’s books. Invite families to participate in guided reading activities, listen to read-alouds, and learn more about how much their child’s literacy has grown over the year.