26th National Reading Day, Reading Week and Reading Month Celebrations 2021

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more things that you learn, the more places you will go.” – Dr. Seuss

The English Department at Delhi Public School RK Puram celebrated the 26th National Reading Day on Saturday, 19 June 2021. Keeping in mind the spirit of reading books and encouraging the same amongst students, an array of competitions were organised on this day. 

Further on, a number of reading activities were conducted considering the emphasis laid by the National Education Policy 2020 on ‘how to read’, ‘learn to read’, ‘read to learn’. These activities continued for a month, from 19 June 2021 to 18 July 2021, to honour the father of the Library Movement, the late P.N. Panicker and realise his dream to promote the culture of reading.  

Reading Day, Reading Week and Reading Month were celebrated to realise the objectives of Reading Mission 2022.  It was on 19 June 2017 when the Hon’ble Prime Minister launched the 22nd National Reading Month Celebrations and propagated  the message of ‘Read and Grow’ among the citizens. 

The details of the events and the activities conducted at the school level are as follows:

Grade VI organised ‘On Reading My Favourite Book’ to let the students write a letter to the author of their favourite book, discussing their favourite scene in the story, talking about its theme and characters and expressing their gratitude. ‘Book Tech’ was conducted to present the digital elaboration of their favourite books. Students prepared beautiful powerpoint presentations which elaborated upon the theme, setting, characters and biography of the author.  In ‘Poetry In Motion’ students exhibited their poetry recitations via recorded videos.

Grade VII conducted ‘Thank You, Dear Author’, a virtual letter writing competition on the National Reading Day.  The participants were supposed to choose their favourite book and write a letter to its author stating the reasons behind liking the book, discussing its characters, theme, style of writing and favourite scenes.  They were allowed to illustrate the handwritten letter or add pictures related to the book.  On the day of the event, they read out their letters with proper expressions and intonation. A host of activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

In ‘Examine The Excerpt’ students were supposed to review any of the excerpts provided and comment on its quality as a good descriptive passage. This was done to  acquaint them with some famous literary descriptive excerpts and hone their creative and critical thinking skills. In ‘The Book Review Podcast’, keeping the clarity of expression and proper voice modulation and intonation in mind, the students composed engaging and original one-minute long podcasts which involved reviews of books of their choice. In ‘Tryst Of Tales’ they had to write a story in which two characters from different books met. They could create a new setting if they wished and make their stories engaging by using dialogues. The creativity and imagination of the students gave interesting twists and angles to their stories. 

Grade VIII organised ‘A Poem In My Pocket’ on the National Reading Day where participants were expected to choose their favourite short poem based on any appropriate theme belonging to any poet.  It could also be a self composed poem.  They were supposed to make it larger than life, animate it using props, sound effects, colourful presentations, adding melody to it, creating a storyboard out of it or expressing it using any other audio visual mode possible.  They could recite it and make it lively with their voice modulation and appropriate expressions. The following activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

 In ‘My Favourite Character’ students impersonated their favourite characters  and showcased  them along with short presentations on the key elements of the story. They voiced their thoughts on the character they adored for 120 seconds. ‘Book Trailer’ was organised where students were asked to record an interesting trailer, talking about any book.They used their technical skills to make the trailer as creative as possible. Students were asked to prepare a book cover, either digital or hand-made; wherein it had both the front and back covers as part of the ‘Book Jacket’ activity. They made attractive and innovative book covers.

Grade IX had ‘Rhapsody’ on the occasion of National Reading Day.  A short poem was given to each participant from the selection of humorous poems.  They were given a few minutes to prepare the poem.  First, the participants were expected to recite it bringing forth the dominant expression, i.e humour.  Next, they were supposed to recite the same poem in the contrasting emotion, i.e. melancholy. The following activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

In ‘The Book Review Podcast’, students were asked to record a  review of any book of their choice in the form of a podcast. The review had to be original and not plagiarized. ‘Book Cover Design’ was an amalgamation of art and literature. Students had to read a book and design a cover for the same. The cover had to be original, not a copy of an existing idea.  They were required to give it a clear title and mention the author’s name and include a graphic design that reflected the central theme of the book. ‘Character Speak’, students were asked to take on the persona of their favourite book character and  make a two minutes video, recording a monologue that exhibited his/her thoughts and feelings about a dilemma, problem or a concern .They were granted use of simple prompts to improvise the act.

Grade X coordinated ‘Discussion Based Activity’ on play reading. This was done to celebrate National Reading Day. The play taken up for this task was, ‘Dear Departed’ by Stanley Houghton.  Participants were required to read the play and analyse details.  They could pick up a specific theme from the given domains and share critical inputs during the session.  The themes were: ‘element of humour’, ‘materialistic pursuits vs human bonds’, ‘concept of inheritance’, ‘hypocrisy in adults’, ‘irony in the title of the play’ and ‘relevance of the play in the contemporary scenario’. The following activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

In ‘Alternative Ending’, students were supposed to write the summary of the book followed by an alternate ending of their choice. This activity aimed to enhance their analytical and thinking skills. ‘Design A Book Cover’ involved participation in the Book Cover Making Competition. This competition intended to mobilize children to participate actively in reading. It gave them the opportunity to exhibit their creativity. ‘Creative Monologue’  required them to record a video of their favourite monologue from any Shakespearean play.  With the help of the monologue, they were supposed to express the inner thoughts and conflicts of the chosen characters.

Grade XI conducted ‘Inter Section Book Review Competition’ on this day.  The participants chose a book of their choice and spoke on it considering its name, genre, author, summary, favourite and worst characters, favourite lines, their liking for its story and their takeaway or inspiration from the book.  The following activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

In the ‘Book Cover Competition’ students exhibited their talent. ‘Monologue Competition’ required them to record a video of their favourite monologue from their favourite play. ‘A Tale Of Twist’ was about twisting the ending of their favourite tale, novel or play.  They were supposed to write the summary of their chosen work followed by the proposed alternative ending.

Grade XII organised a ‘Book Reading Competition’ where students participated to read an excerpt from their favourite book.  Using creative Google slides, the participants discussed their chosen book on the basis of certain parameters such as, ‘autobiographical overtone’, ‘justification of the title of the book’, ‘character analysis’, ‘theme’, ‘style of writing’ and ‘relevance to present time or universality of the theme’. The following activities were conducted in the next few weeks:

‘Book Cover Design Competition’ in which students derived a relatable title from a list of given proverbs. Adding illustrations and hues to the book cover helped to convey the theme or the purpose of the given cues using eloquent imagery. It helped in comprehension of the message conveyed in the proverbs. ‘I Am Shakespeare’ aimed at helping students to read and recite Shakespeare’s work. Students participated actively in this Soliloquy/Monologue Delivery Competition.  They recorded a soliloquy or a monologue from a Shakespearean play of their choice and uploaded it in the Google Classroom. ‘Graphic Novel’ was conducted in which students were supposed to create a graphic novel (comic strip) involving any part of the story, event or sequence drawn in series. The drawing could be digital or hand drawn mentioning the name of the book, its author and part of the script. ‘Caricature Making Competition’ required students to draw or create a caricature of any character from a book of their choice.  It could be digital or hand drawn mentioning the name of the book, the selected character and its famous dialogue or monologue.

The Reading day, Reading Week and Reading Month focussed on promoting reading as a regular habit among young learners. Those involved in the events were oriented to new books, writers and styles of writing. It was a fun filled month when the book world came alive and left a great impact on the minds of both the teachers and the students.