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17 Inspiring Cross-Curricular World Book Day Activities

This blog post has been written by experienced KS2 teacher Zoe.

Why do we care about World Book Day? Well for starters, it’s incredible fun! There’s a freedom in it, a little break from your usual class timetable that can bring out your more creative side. It’s about enjoying books and reading with your pupils in a wide variety of ways across the curriculum.  It is also about dressing up and you can find lots of easy costume ideas for teachers in our blog post.

We’ve already shared our huge list of ideas for World Book Day activities, but for this post, we’ll be focusing more on the way reading runs through other subjects and how to use this to your advantage when planning your own cross-curricular World Book Day activities.

You already know that exploring images develops children’s literacy skills, so why not delve deeper into an artist’s use of colour or composition to teach children even more about how writers create the desired mood and effects with their words?

Here are some simple art lesson ideas for World Book Day:

  • Draw or paint an image of a setting or character based on one or two lines of text from a book.
  • Use Dulux colour charts to write on synonyms for different feelings, possibly based on the colours used in Inside Out. This help to create the idea of colour being associated with mood, but also helps give a sense of different shades of meaning, rather than using synonyms interchangeably.
  • Ask children to create a willow pattern plate depicting their favourite story, using our free lesson.
  • Do a sketch study of expressions to focus children’s minds on subtle differences in emotions and what they could be thinking or feeling about as well as how they express this through their facial expressions.

We’ve also got a lot more KS1 and KS2 art ideas for your students in our specialist lesson packs if you need some inspiration for the rest of the term too!

willow pattern 1

For hands on learners, you could even bring stories to life to captivate more reluctant readers.

Making things children recognise from books creates something real and tangible from what they have only heard about in a story.

Here are some simple Design and Technology lesson ideas for celebrating books:

  • Create an object from one of your favourite books, this could be a stuffed toy, a secret box or even a magic wand! You can then personalise it and make it your own.
  • Make a moving storybook – using our free lesson.
  • Bake and then decorate gingerbread book characters to practise character descriptions.
  • Make tiny doors to lean against trees or walls around the school. These could be for the Minpins, the borrowers, the elves who helped the shoemaker or many more tiny book characters.
  • Make a pop-up book using our pop-up book lesson (available to our members, and also via our free trial).
  • Using a shoebox, create a book in a box. Make the inside of a house or bedroom, or you could make a boat or a vehicle from a story – there are no limits!
  • Equally making a story in a jar can be super fun too.

And if you need a little something extra, why not check out the great selection of Design and Technology lesson ideas that our team of specialist teachers have prepared for your pupils?

World book day lessons

What child doesn’t love creating projects on a computer or tablet?

Not only can children use their digital literacy skills to create ebooks and websites, they can also use multimedia to create videos, which they can edit, and develop their computational thinking skills by exploring story sequencing, using logic to explain which order events happen in.

Here are some quick and easy ICT lesson ideas for World Book Day:

  • Film a book trailer or stop motion animation about a favourite book, which can then be edited and shown to the school.
  • Design a smart library, which scans books and tracks which people take out which book. How could this be used to help children choose which story to read?
  • Older children can create a book trailer using our digital literacy topic.
  • Read the Hello Ruby books and create a paper computer.

And if you need a little something extra for your class of digital natives, our specialist computing lesson plans are the ideal way to introduce your children to online safety, computers and hardware.

Get all our lessons today with a no obligation free trial!

World book day lesson plans

Everyone loves a good story – whether it’s a book, a play, in a piece of art or even a piece of music!

Why not help your pupils create their own stories in a totally new way?

Below are some easy music activities for World Book Day:

  • Listen to a piece of music related to a familiar story and try and match it correctly, using musical terminology to explain your thinking.
  • Compose a piece of music based on your favourite book.
  • Select instruments which represent well-known characters. Use this to compose and perform a group piece, re-enacting a wordless version of a scene from a book.

Our specialist primary resources for music are also a great way of inspiring your pupils all year round while saving time on lesson planning – it’s win-win!

French lessons world book day

Reading! Words! Poetry! Learning new language skills

Help your pupils enjoy the feeling of new words and explore favourite stories in a new language. Added bonus? Learning a different language helps you to understand your own, so watch those literacy skills soar!

Here are some creative ideas for World Book Day around languages:

  • Use any French words you know as well as gestures to describe a book to someone else (like charades but with some spoken French). Learn or have key words displayed such as ‘book’ and words related to different genres e.g. funny, scary, exciting.
  • Draw a character and label in French. Then try describing them to a partner without showing your picture and see if it looks the same.
  • Look at book titles or blurbs in French and try and work out what they are, explaining your thinking, e.g. recognising cognates (words similar in French and English).

Feeling inspired? Why not push your children a little further with our easy to follow KS2 language lessons? We guarantee our bite-sized videos will help you develop your languages teaching skills as easily as un, deux, trois!

Whether you’re a subject leader, class teacher or an NQT (or all three!), becoming a member of Kapow Primary offers great benefits for all schools including:

  • 700+ skills based lessons, easily adapted for any topic or curriculum.
  • Hundreds of bite-sized demo videos that help develop subject knowledge.
  • Topics and lessons that can be used holistically, or “dip in and out”.
  • Rich visual demonstrations of proven techniques, by subject experts.
  • 24/7 access.
  • Adaptable schemes of work that provide a broad and balanced curriculum.
Written by:
Kapow Primary