Thursday 2nd March is World Book Day. How on earth is it March already? My inner cynic feels like in recent years it has just become an opportunity to dress up. Of course there is merit in dressing up as famous literary characters but I can’t help but feel it is missing the point a little. World Book Day is a celebration of authors, books and, more importantly, reading.

Here are some ideas you might like to use for World Book Day:

  • Stick a “currently reading” sign on your classroom door. Include a colour photocopy of the book’s cover and a brief paragraph about why you are reading it. Credit to a previous colleague of mine for this lovely idea!
  • Create some displays around the school about the favourite books of the staff (not just teachers). Including a photograph can really help to personalise this and make sure it includes staff from outside of the English department (the kids already know we are all book fans!)
  • If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Ask students to design a costume for one of the literature text characters.
  • Take your students to the library (alternatively have a pile of books at the front of the classroom). They pick a book and read the opening page. They should then discuss this with a partner. If you want to sneak in some exam preparation ask them to write three questions about it. Swap with a partner to answer then peer mark.
  • Ask students to skim the book and pick out five new words they like and didn’t know before.
  • Ask them to write an alternative ending for a set text, poem or their favourite book.
  • Students could create their own vlogs to share their thoughts and opinions on what they are reading.
  • Ask students to give you five quotations from a set text which best illustrate the author’s message or insight into a character. This can lead to some really rich reflection and discussion.
  • Analyse various book covers from the set texts. This again can lead to some brilliant discussion.
  • Ask students to read an excerpt from their favourite book to a partner then explain why they like it.
  • Ask students to create a social media page for a character from a book. Allow them to choose their own social media platform and they can come up with some surprisingly insightful ideas!
  • My last suggestion is highly controversial, given the time of year and the exam pressure we are under. But how about allowing your students the luxury of an hour to just read? A few years ago I selected a book for each member of the class, took them to the library where they could sit more comfortably and gave them hot chocolate to drink whilst reading. I also spent the time reading which I think was important. I realise this won’t be possible for everyone, I was lucky enough to have a small group and a brilliantly supportive librarian, but it worked a treat and a majority of the students took the books out and finished reading them. They also talked about the lesson months later. I think if you can make the conditions as comfortable and different as possible this is a worthwhile session and the best way to spend some time on World Book Day.


I’m sure many of you out there routinely use some of these ideas as part of your teaching, but I’m hoping that one or two of the ideas will give you some inspiration for something a little different to celebrate the glory of books.

I’ll be creating a World Book Day quiz to post on Wednesday so come back then if you’d like a copy.

Have a good week!

12 teaching ideas for World Book Day

3 thoughts on “12 teaching ideas for World Book Day

  • February 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I have really enjoyed reading your post. World Book Day is one of my favourite days of the year. A good excuse to enthuse about literacy. Do I really need one?! I love the way you have included all the staff in your World Book Day activities. This year we have encouraged our students to find out their parents’ & grandparents’ favourite childhood books & comics. Involving family members has given our activities an extra personal & meaningful dimension. It has also provided our students with some wonderful anecdotes to share. We are planning to put these together into a little book! Sorry for taking up so much space! I am really looking forward to your quiz! Thank you, as always for sharing.

    • February 28, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Please don’t apologise Brigid – your enthusiasm is inspiring! I love the idea of putting the ideas together in a book, what a lovely thing for your students to be part of. I think making it so personalised really captures the essence of a celebration of reading. Have a wonderful week – it sounds like you are going to! Happy reading to you and your students!


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