Book Week 2020 may be making its appearance a few months later than usual this year, but it’s finally here and a good opportunity to get kids excited about reading. This year’s theme is Curious Creatures, Wild Minds – a fantastic, rich theme that teachers can take in all kinds of directions. This week on School Stream, we’re looking at where to find great resources and, of course, costume ideas for teachers.

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Easy Book Week Costumes for teachers

Cometh the Book Week, cometh the mad dash to create a last-minute, theme-appropriate costume. Or perhaps you have had your Book Week dress-up ready for months. Whichever camp you fall into, get your glue gun ready; here are some ideas for teacher costumes you can put together in a heartbeat.

  • The Paper bag Princess – Dress up as the Paper bag Princess using nothing but staffroom supplies. All you need is a roll of brown paper, some string for a belt and a cardboard crown.
  • The Golden Ticket – Who says you need to dress up as the main character? The golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is iconic and can be created in a flash with recycled cardboard and a marker. Make a ‘sandwich board’ style creation for easy wear over your everyday clothes.
  • Anyone from Harry Potter – All the house shields, ties and other bits and bobs are available as free printable templates online. Team with a cloak from your local variety store and you’ll be Hogwarts-ready in a jiffy. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you may want to give a more obscure character some time in the sun. Mandrake (yes, the plant) is a popular option for Potter-diehards.
  • Wrangle a group of colleagues and go as the crayons from The Day the Crayons Quit. This is another outfit that can be whipped up easily with coloured cardboard and a marker.
  • Mrs Frizzle from The Magic School Bus – Get crafty and create the motifs from her dress in felt (stars, planets, moons etc) and, with the magic of a hot glue gun, attach them to a dress. Bonus points for a toy lizard and an orange wig.
  • Where’s Wally? – has there ever been a more educator-friendly Book Week costume? You can transform yourself into Where’s Wally with a red and white striped t-shirt, some black framed glasses (the local variety or op shop is your friend) and a red beanie.
  • Dr Seuss characters – thanks to a limited colour palette and simple illustrations, you can create a Dr Seuss outfit in a pinch. Thing 1 or Thing 2 (red t-shirt, a nametag, and blue beanie/hair ribbon/wig/feather boa) and The Cat in the Hat is just as straightforward; pair a black outfit with a red bowtie and a red and white cardboard hat, and you’re ready to hit Book Week.

Book Week 2020 resources for Older Readers 

Book Week has plenty to offer older readers, and there are some brilliant shortlisted books for YA readers. The Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian Network has links to resources for every shortlisted book in this category. Scroll through and you will find a virtual treasure trove of resources. Given the theme of this year’s Book Week is STEM-centric, there are also resources and activities online about how to tie this year’s theme to curriculum outcomes in Science/Biological Sciences for students in Years 7-10. 

Book Week 2020 resources for Younger Readers

There are so many resources for Book Week it can be hard to know where to start. There’s even a themed playlist this year! Of course, there are loads of great ideas on the Children’s Book Council of Australia website, but if you’re looking for more inspiration, the winners of the 2019 Book Week ‘Honour Book’, Black Cockatoo (Magabala 2018), have a Basic Teacher Guide on their website and it is chock full of different activities that teachers may find helpful. 

Have a fantastic Book Week! 

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