Celebrating International Literacy Day

b60a53a778fbf1b0fa0308c5a9a8f2f9International Literacy Day is September 8.

First Book and our friends at the International Reading Association are challenging students and teachers to spend 60 seconds each day for the next 60 days to doing small activities that enhance literacy skills.

Celebrate your love for reading on International Literacy Day with some of these out-of-this-world activities:

SONY DSCActivities for ages 4-8

  • Talk Show
    After reading a book, ask students  to write a question that they would ask the main character. Each day ask for a volunteer to pretend to be the main character, and give the volunteer 60 seconds to answer one or two questions.
  • Take My Advice
    Project a picture from a familiar book, such as Little Red Riding Hood walking through the forest. Have students talk to the characters in the book, and give them advice, such as “Little Red Riding Hood, don’t talk to the Wolf. He’s going to try to trick you!”


Book Relief Professional Photos 086Activities for ages 9-11

  • Vocabulary Space Ticket
    Provide students with a vocabulary ticket to leave space. Have pairs or trios of students draw an image for each vocabulary word and write a definition so their ticket can be stamped for lift-off.
  • Galactic Mural
    Make a large mural of space with outlines of the planets. Each day a student brings in one space fact and adds the information to the mural. Once finished, sit back and enjoy your view of our corner of the galaxy.


Activities for ages 12-14

  • Word of the Day
    Book Relief Professional Photos 263Take 60 seconds to learn Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day. If you have an extra two minutes, check out the podcast that accompanies each Word of the Day. Challenge kids to try to use the new word during the day in conversations in class or with their friends. Create a friendly competition and see who can use the word the most or the best.
  • Done in 60 Days
    Get the whole class writing a collaborative story in 60-second bursts. Come up with a first-line story starter. On day 1, have students write the sentence on the top of a blank sheet of paper. Give them 60 seconds to write the next line. Each day, have students rotate the sheets of paper so that in the 60 seconds, they are (a) reading what others have written and (b) writing the next line of the story. At the end of the 60 days, spend some time seeing the different directions taken by stories starting with same first line.

Download their International Literacy Day Activity Kit for more fun things to do to celebrate & promote literacy in the classroom and at home!