Reading and writing ideasThere are loads of fun reading and writing activitieswhich would make pleasing fillers for your readinggroupWhy not try some of these…
• Judge a book by its cover• Match book covers and extracts• Play Balderdash or the Dictionary Game• Play Ex Libris• Make magnetic poetry or cut up poems• Make a Poetree• Write text or twitter plot summaries for famousbooks• Read extracts from books• Have a competition to find the best opening to abook• Have a Book quiz
Judge a book by its coverSpread a load of books across the library floor. Giveeveryone just 30 seconds to pick a book that appealsto them just from the cover.1. Look at the blurbs and see if they are still appealing.2. Read the opening line and complete the verdict.3. At each stage, share your findings with the group.
Match book covers and extractsPhotocopy some opening paragraphs from novelsand some book covers and see who can match thewriting with the covers.
Balderdash or the Dictionary GamePick an obscure word from the dictionary and haveeveryone create their own definition of the word.One person collects in the definitions and then readsout the whole pile, being careful to surreptitiouslyinclude the real definition.Then, everyone votes on which is the real one.There are points of getting the right answer and pointsfor fooling your friends.
Ex LibrisLike the Dictionary Game but with fiction.Pick a book off the library shelves and read out theblurb on the back.Everyone writes an imaginary opening line orparagraph to the book.The person in charge reads out all theopenings, including the real one.As before, points for picking the right one and pointsfor fooling your friends.
Make magnetic poetryIf you don’t have a magnetic surface or can’t get hold ofmagnetic words, you can easily make your own byphotocopying a range of poems and cutting them upinto words.Leave the words on a table and let people make theirown poems. You could cut and stick them into poemsor simply take photos and recycle the words.For a different slant on the same theme, cut poems upinto lines and see who can put them back together.
Write text and twitter plotsummaries of booksYou could do this as a competition or just as a funexercise whilst nibbling on snacks. Write some, readthem out and see if you can guess which books arebeing described:“Reader I married him, shortly after nearly marrying avicar and leaving his ex-wife to burn down his houseand top herself.”
Make a Poetree (or a noveltree or anauthoritree!)A Poetree is a representation of a tree hung with leaf-shaped poems.You could stick the shape of a tree on the library wall or usea fake Chrismas tree or similar.Print out some famous poems for people to hang and leavesome blank leaves for people to write their own poemson.To change the focus to novels, why not make a ‘noveltree’of favourite books and an ‘authoritree’ of authors. And ifyou’re really clever you could theme them on differentbranches to help other young people to chose what toread next.
Reading extractsRevive the lost art of listening to stories by allocatingbooks to different participants and having eachparticipant read out the opening to the novel.For added tension, why not award points for bestreading and best book with a prize for the winner.
Book quizHave a quiz master set some questions. To keep thebook focus, have some rounds that are of a literarynature.• Who wrote Pride and Prejudice?• What’s the second book in Twilight series called?• Which book features the character AugustusWaters?
And the award for best openingline goes to:The opening of a book should grab the reader straightaway and there are some really memorable onesavailable.Do some research and have a competition to see whocan come up with the best opening line.Read them out and have each person score eachopening out of ten.Add up the scores and, hey presto, you’ll have awinner!