Dive into Reading During National Book Month!

Cultivate a passion for literature with fun, easy-to-incorporate reading activities.

By Jill Clark


chalkboard-drawn kids reading books

October is National Book Month! Sponsored by the National Book Foundation, students, families, and teachers are urged to get into the literary spirit by promoting books, storytelling, and everything reading-related! During October, encourage participation in a variety of activities revolving around literacy.

Celebrate Books with Classroom Reading Activities

  • Guest Readers: Invite parents, community members, or older students to come in and read to your class. It's always special when someone new comes in to share a story!
  • Readers Theater: There are so many Readers Theater scripts available for all levels of readers. This is a way to incorporate performing arts into language arts instructional time with minimal preparation.
  • Book Swaps: Give pupils a chance to take home new books by planning a book swap. This is a no-cost way to generate excitement about reading.
  • Student-Generated Books: Incorporate daily writing and editing practice by generating homemade books. Complete with illustrations and covers, children can take homemade books to share with friends and family.
  • Author Showcase: Expose your class to new authors. Choose an author of the week to explore. From Dr. Seuss to J.D. Salinger, the possibilities are endless. You could dedicate a section of your classroom to display books, background information, and other interesting objects pertaining to the showcased author.
  • Send Letters to Authors: A great way to connect your learners with reading is to contact a particular author. This encourages critical thinking and evaluation of a story, as well as practice writing a formal letter. 
  • Read-In: Push all the desks away for the day. Have everyone bring in beanbags or comfy pillows to lounge and enjoy independent reading, shared readings, or storytelling. Wear pajamas and munch on popcorn as you celebrate all-things reading.
  • Family Reading Night: Assign reading activities for families to complete together for homework.
  • Big Buddy/Little Buddy Shared Readings: Partner with upper or lower grades to share language arts time. Take turns reading aloud or collaborate on story. 
  • Write letters to pen pals: Use the Internet or connect with a teacher friend in a different town, state or country. Have your class write letters about themselves and ask questions. It's a lot of fun when you get letters back and you can read and share them with the class.
  • Create a Cover: Infuse art and reading! Read a book to your class without showing them the pictures or cover. After hearing and discussing the story, have a cover-creating workshop. (This is also an excellent activity for the comprehension strategy of visualization.)
  • Current Events: Bring in newspaper articles. Have each person/group read one and then summarize for the class.
  • Book Jeopardy: Using books previously read in class or as homework, host a trivia game where students compete to answer questions about the author, plot, characters etc.

More Lessons:

Explore Saturn through Literature

Unite science and reading with this wonderful exploration of the planet Saturn. In this lesson titled: "Discovering Saturn: The Real Lord of the Rings", 3rd and 4th grade students will participate in activities including reading, research and writing.

Reading Partnerships

Encourage collaboration with this Reading Partnership lesson. Students are paired up and then asked to choose a book. They will review literary elements, make connections and evaluate the story together during scheduled meeting times.