Books provide young people with a window into a new world. They unshackle the imagination and promote the thought that anything is possible. World Book Day is on a mission to give every child or young person a book of their own. March 7th 2019 is a celebration of books, authors, illustrators and imagination!
Enjoyed in over 100 countries, World Book Day encourages children to explore the pleasure of books, to wake up with that ‘Christmas morning feeling’ on the 7th of March and for them to carry that joy of reading with them throughout the year.
Getting young people excited about books, the ethos at the heart of the WBD campaign, can be done in a variety of ways. The performing arts as a collective are a fantastic tool for immersing children within the world of the tale. At West End in Schools we offer three creative options for this World Book Day.
Dance allows children to begin physically expressing the characters they meet in books. Take one phrase or short description from a book, like ours from Maurice Sendak’s wonderful book Where the Wild Things Are. What does a Wild Thing look like? Are they big or are they small? How do they move?
A few provocations and children are up and moving. They are engaging with a character in a different way and that character has come to life.
Our Bringing Books to Life dance workshops use movement to embody environments and characters. This allow students to access the story from a new perspective. The workshops have been carefully designed to give all students, from Reception to Year Six, a session which is not only explorative of the literature but equips them with a form of self-expression that everyone can find benefit in. But, more than that, during a dance activity children are learning to share the space with other people, developing motor skills and ways of thinking that don’t come from sitting still.
Using drama games and activities can be another great choice for exploring stories this World Book Day.
Children’s books are full of wonderful rhymes, cadences and description that bring language to life and paint a picture with words. When spoken aloud, chanted, shouted, whispered or sung, those pictures start to take shape in the imagination of children.
‘Performing’ a story ensures that children are active agents in their learning; pulling words off of a page and watching language come to life around them.
We have developed a range of drama workshops for primary children based on literature, from Shakespeare to much more contemporary tales. Drama workshops give the opportunity for every student to speak out, to build their confidence and to participate.
Our Creative Director has previously outlined drama activities for bringing Shakespeare to life, but why not try these activities for bringing other stories to life in the classroom?
Live theatre can be a powerful thing. Seeing stories performed is an immersive, engaging and powerful tool to help children access books differently.
For World Book Day 2019, we are offering two musical performances featuring literature enjoyed across the primary curriculum.
Live theatre allows children to see topics from a unique angle and can help develop emotional intelligence. Also, experiencing theatre in a familiar space, with some recognisable characters, is an inspirational moment and can be a springboard for a young person’s pursuit of the arts.
Reading and storytelling are an invaluable part of childhood… and adulthood for that matter. Getting people excited about stories from a young age can promote a lifelong love of reading. Exploring books in new, active, creative ways can ignite that literary pursuit.
For more ideas on how you can bring books to life through the performing arts take a look at our workshops and musicals for World Book Day 2019.