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World Book Day 2021 – 18 of the best ideas and resources for KS1 and KS2

Get your primary students revved up for reading this World Book Day on 4 March 2021 with these ideas, activities, resources and lesson plans...

  • World Book Day 2021 – 18 of the best ideas and resources for KS1 and KS2

1 | World Book Day Ideas – Free activities pack

Over on our resources sister site Plazoom, we’ve produced this free World Book Day ideas activities pack.

Based on exploring characters, story worlds and the idea of travelling by book, the pack includes lesson plans for Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6, with downloadable worksheets and additional resources.

There’s also everything you need to set up a role play ‘travel by book’ agency for your class, year group or school, enabling children to develop interpersonal, literacy and maths skills as they discover and share even more stories.

Plus, you can organise a whole-school ‘Story Express’ event for World Book Day itself – again, with everything you need to plan and deliver it provided… just add books!

Download yours here.

2 | KS1 World Book Day home-learning pack

Want to celebrate books during your home learning this World Book Day?

This home learning pack is designed for children in Y1 and Y2 (ages 5-7) to complete, with some adult support where possible, over a week, based around the topic of ‘World Book Day’.

It offers a range of activities to inspire reading for pleasure, developing pupils’ knowledge of authors. Writing opportunities are also included through creating book covers and blurbs and writing about their favourite characters from stories that they have read.

It includes a writing task (book cover and blurb), authors word search, book emoji quiz, author and book match, ‘My favourite book character’ activity, ‘Design a book character’ worksheet and themed writing paper.

Find it here.

3 | KS2 World Book Day home-learning pack

Want all this for years 3-6? We’ve got you covered. This pack does everything the KS1 pack does, only, obviously, it’s aimed at older students.

Find this one here.

4 | Ideas from teachers

The official World Book Day website has been collecting ideas submitted by teachers for years, so it’s well worth checking out the full list here.

But to save you time, we’ve picked out our favourites that will promote reading and get kids excited about books in your school.

Check out our pick of 18 ideas here.

5 | WBD primary resource pack

While there’s no resource pack for 2020 at the moment, a great place to start is on the official World Book Day site where you can download the 2019 resource pack, and don’t forget to check out the other resources available such as the assembly and timeline planner which you can find here along with loads of other stuff.

Get the resource pack here.

6 | World Book Day lesson plan

Explore what would happen if a book character entered a different story where they didn’t belong with this lesson plan for KS1 and KS2.

What if a library got its books in a muddle and the pages from different books got spliced with each other? Where would the characters end up? What would they do? How would they act?

The comic book industry has relied on amalgamations and multiverses for decades to keep stories fresh. Time travel, cloning and wormholes have allowed characters to be reborn, inhabit new bodies and end up in different settings across time.

For World Book Day, let your class explore this concept and create a multiverse of their own with their favourite characters.

Download this free lesson plan here.

7 | Fifty-plus free book topics

In every issue of Teach Primary we feature a three-page book topic feature packed full of classroom activities and ideas for a given book. So over the years we’ve racked up a big back catalogue of these, and they’re all available to download for free.

In this list of KS1 book topics you’ll find popular titles like The Day the Crayons Quit, Do you Speak English, Moon?, Toys in Space and more.

While the KS2 book topics list includes over 30 fiction and non-fiction texts such as James and the Giant Peach, Kid Normal, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Shackleton’s Journey, Kensuke’s Kingdom and Cloud Busting.

Click the links above to check out the full list and download as many of the book topics as you like.

8 | Stonewall book list

A few years ago Stonewall put together this PDF featuring a selection of great books which are appropriate for Key Stage 1 that can be used to talk about different families and to address and challenge gender stereotypes.

So if you’re on the lookout for some great new books that are more inclusive, look no further.

Check out the full list here.

9 | Classic texts KS2 reading comprehension packs

These reading challenge mats provide a quick burst of comprehension practice, ideal for morning work, a short reading session or even sparking an interest in a classic text.

Each mat contains a brief extract from a classic text with a range of reading challenge questions focusing on the key reading skills of inference, information retrieval and the use of language.

There are three packs available, each of which use three classic texts. Click each link to find them:

  • Pack 1
    The Invisible Man by HG Wells, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Pack 2
    Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and The Time Machine by HG Wells
  • Pack 3
    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

10 | Mary Poppins teaching pack

This resource pack includes a lesson plan, extension ideas and activity sheets based around the original Mary Poppins book by PL Travers.

So, if your class are excited by the new film version, or have seen the 1964 movie, now you can share the magic of the original stories with them.

Download this resource here.

11 | New books by age group

Looking for something new to share with your class? Here’s our roundup of 21 of the best books of recent months, all sorted into key stage.

Check out the list here.

12 | Paddington whole-school resource pack

This teaching pack is bursting with ideas for teaching English at KS1 and KS2 while celebrating Michael Bond’s wonderful Paddington Bear books.

There are four lessons plans, each of which is accompanied by a selection of activity sheets. These can be used individually, or combined as part of a whole-school project.

There are ideas, too, on how your school can join together and use the Paddington Bear books as the inspiration for celebrating literacy and reading for pleasure.

Get all this here.

13 | Write a Paddington play script

Staying with the famous bear, celebrate his 60th anniversary with James Clements’ fun lesson about dialogue and drama.

And if you still can’t get enough of Paddington, we’ve also got a book topic for you here.

Download this resource here.

14 | Book review template and guide

Writing book reviews enables pupils to offer opinions based on first-hand experiences. Naturally, pupils shouldn’t be expected to review every book they read, but from time to time encouraging them to reflect on their reading is a useful activity.

As pupils are required to offer opinions when reviewing their reading, book reviews provide valuable practice at using the subordinating conjunction ‘because’, which makes them particularly useful teaching tools for meeting the writing requirements of KS1.

Download this resource here.

15 | Ten great activities for any book

This resource from Scottish Book Trust has been designed to give you activity ideas which are transferable to just about any fiction text in a primary setting.

The activities will help your pupils get to grips with aspects like plot, character and setting, and also provide opportunities for them to share their opinions about what they’ve read.

Get it here.

16 | Use maps to inspire storytelling

Immerse pupils in a spot of imaginary world-building and watch their fiction writing flourish with this lesson plan from Adam Parkhouse.

Download this resource here.

17 | Add sound effects to stories

From the clunk of the Tin Man to the thud of a Gruffalo, music can add atmosphere to children’s stories.

Here is a lesson plan with some ideas to get your pupils started.

Download it here.

18 | Describe settings with Frank Lampard’s football books

Written by Frank Lampard, the Frankie’s Magic Football series is the perfect combination of magic and football to inspire creative writing.

With each adventure taking place in a different location (from the prehistoric land of dinosaurs to the jungles of Brazil), the books prompt children to consider the idea of setting in story writing.

What techniques are involved in good descriptive writing? How can powerful language, adjectives and sensory description create effect?

This lesson encourages children to answer these questions before creating their own magical World Cup settings.

Download this resource here.

Bonus | World Book Day costume ideas

Stuck for ideas or looking for inspiration, however you put it, this roundup of some of the best book-based costumes on Twitter from previous years will help you think up character to dress as.

Alternatively, we also put together this huge list of children’s book characters with links to images and how-to guides for many of the costumes.

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