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Getting started

Ideas for engaging students in the Berkshire Book Award


Quick, simple things …

  • For subscribing schools, make the most of the printed materials provided such as stickers and bookmarks. Put stickers on the longlisted and shortlisted books as they are revealed.

  • Use the launch video (available from 11th October) in Library Lessons.

  • For non-subscribing schools, print out materials from the downloads link.

  • Display eligible books in piles on tables as they do in book shops. (Students are more likely to handle the books & read the ‘blurb’).

  • Chat with students about who has read what, make suggestions and encourage peer recommendations and the search for new titles.

  • Give parents details of short-listed books so that they can buy them as Christmas presents.

  • Make sure details on how to vote are obvious – have it mentioned in Assemblies and newsletters, with reminders. If you have google classroom groups, post the link there.

  • Ask students to write mini reviews (or longer!). Display, and send them to the Berkshire Book Award website.

  • Tweet about it. Include any relevant authors – you may well get a reply! Ditto Instagram. (Don't forget to tag in the BBA accounts too!)

Bit more time?

  • Launch the Awards in an Assembly

  • Display books published in the last year with how to vote and news of the Awards, as it happens.

  • Start a book group or involve a current one in discussing the short-listed books, or try a fiction speed-dating session! (There is a wealth of information available on how to do these, so you don’t need to re-invent the wheel!)

  • Select small groups from Library Lessons to have a table discussion about the longlist and shortlist. Give the students bookmarks and encourage ‘First Impression’ voting as well as promoting borrowing the books to make more informed choices.

  • Draw up and display a league table of the most popular books.

  • Celebrate all this wonderful new fiction – have a party!

Above all, empower students: these are their Awards and they can nominate and vote for their choices. 

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