bookweek-for-beginners - celebrations

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Top Book Parade Tips

·       COSTUME PARADE

·       Claim the date early.

·       Plan the costume parade first thing in the morning so costumes are fresh and clean.

·       Encourage home-made and inexpensive costumes, based on the theme or book characters.

·       Enable all to participate by allowing a broad range of dress-ups, but discourage scary costumes.

·       Encourage children to carry the book which inspired their costume, especially in the younger grade levels.

·       Avoid prizes so those without parents or without parents with the time/skills/money/interest are not marginalised.

·       Have loud, clap-along music and each class parades in a circle around the others who are the audience.

·       Have a few spare costume items handy for those who come without a costume.

·       Get someone who knows their children’s literature to spruik to add atmosphere.

·       Consider making it a mask, a hat, a headband, or a sandwich board parade and make the making of these the art curriculum for the first part of T3 so everyone can be involved.

·       Ensure that teachers get in the spirit and dress up too.

·       Year 5/6 will often bow to peer pressure and think this is babyish and uncool (although secretly they would love to be involved) so give them a chance to be involved in the organisation, helping younger students make or wear their costumes, making advertising posters, being junior journalists, being in charge of the music selection and delivery, whatever is on offer to give them responsibility, ease your workload and making it a whole school event.

·       Invite parents and the local media (including your local free suburban newspaper) because it’s all advocacy for the teacher librarian’s role. Let them see their child having fun so they see their efforts are worth it.

·       Keep the purpose of children having fun clearly in focus – it should not be a competition, no student should be marginalised and it should be all about the laughter.


Share these ideas for costumes with your parent community.

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Consider promoting one book per class - either a shortlisted or one of the class teacher's favourites. You may also have a class based costume session an hour before the parade or before lunch so hats or simple costume add-ons can be made for kids who don't bring stuff from home, ensuring EVERYONE is participating. Kids parade one class at a time around a circle of the hall, audience seated all around. Student at front of line can hold up the book featured OR a canvas artwork (see below).

Canvas Art: Buy cheap stretched canvases from Jolly Ollies (or similar store). Each class is asked to produce a painting for their book, then after the parade the finished products are hung in the Library for years to come.

Other Activities

Clue Hunt: Have each teacher create a clue for a short-listed book and hide it in a box. Station the teachers around the school grounds, and give the students a location map. Students move around the grounds, and try to guess the name of each book. Correct answers earn them a letter. The collected letters can be used to spell the answer to a cryptic clue.

Readers’ Theatre: Have each class prepare a Readers’ Theatre presentation of a short-listed or theme books. Come together and perform them for each other.

Book Week performance: If funds are available, you could book a professional performance for your students.

·       Perform Education

·       Shows for Schools

·       Carp Productions

·       Young Australia Workshop

·       School Performance Tours

·       Books to Life

·       Meerkat Productions