December can be one of the most hectic times of the year in schools- concerts, nativity plays, trips out, visits, crafts, assemblies and church services. However, it’s also a perfect time of year for taking the opportunity to try out some different ways to encourage children, families and the local community to read for pleasure. Here are some ideas to help you continue to promote reading for pleasure during the run up to Christmas.
Use Christmas Carol or festive song lyrics in your guided reading sessions
Many carols started off life as poems– In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti would be a lovely addition to a December guided reading session. However, you could choose other songs or carol lyrics to analyse and discuss too. Our favourites for discussion include: Good King Wenceslas, Silent Night, O Holy Night, Sleigh Ride and Winter Wonderland.
Choose and send (or deliver) Christmas poems to local residents
There are some beautiful Christmas and Winter poems available. One possible idea is to take time as a class to choose your favourites, publish them (either using technology or best handwriting and artwork) and then deliver them to local residents. Share the joy of your favourite poems this Christmas. What a lovely gift!
Add Christmas poems and stories into your caroling visits
If your school arranges for the choir or selected classes to visit local residential care homes, could you add poems or stories into the concert in addition to songs? Maybe you could arrange for the children to take Christmas picture books or retellings of the Christmas story with them to share with individual residents.
Story Time with Father Christmas
Does Father Christmas come to visit the children in your school? Could he take the time to visit different classes with a Christmas story? Or perhaps whilst he’s in the grotto some of his elves could come and deliver a Christmas book to each class?
Make the most of those funny pockets of time that turn up between Christmas play rehearsals and carol concerts to really explore your book collection. Spread books over the surfaces of the classroom and discuss what you may want to read in the New Year. Teresa Cremin suggests more talking points for the book blanket activity in this great blog post.
Book Recommendation Decorations and Displays
Our pinterest board entitled ‘Christmas in the library’ includes many ways that you can embed books, book covers and blurbs into your Christmas decorations and displays.
What are your favourite ways to encourage reading for pleasure at Christmas? Get in touch with us on twitter or facebook and we’ll add your ideas to this post!