Reach Every Parent / Sep 05, 2023

International Literacy Day 2023 – Make Your Students Book Lovers!

Parent And Child Reading Books Together In The Library.

What books do you read to your class during the first weeks back? Share pictures of your classroom library in honor of International Literacy Day 2023!

Margaret Fuller Quote: "Today a reader, tomorrow a leader."

A wise teacher meme once said: “Sometimes students use big words they don’t always understand in an effort to make themselves sound more photosynthesis.” 


Most teachers would agree. What is International Literacy Day 2023 for? To raise awareness of the value of literacy and to encourage children and adults alike to develop their literacy skills now that everyone is back in the classroom.


Books are a teachers’ most powerful tool. Books can take you to places that are far away, and teach you to consider the world with greater perspective, in ways you may have not previously considered. As a teacher, books are my go-to when I’m struggling on how to teach just about anything.


When planning to honor International Literacy Day this week, choose books that reflect how you want the year to go. Here are some of my all-time teacher favorites that I hope foster a love for reading with your younger elementary-school students: 

Download 1

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

This book is about Gerald the Giraffe- a giraffe who can’t quite figure out how to dance. The other animals that he lives around make fun of his inability to dance. Gerald encounters a cricket at night and realizes that sometimes you have to find the right music. This book does a wonderful job celebrating and illustrating overcoming struggle and self-advocacy. Engage your class in a discussion and take that opportunity to list things that they can do *now*, and what they can’t do *YET*. 

Download 2

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

After being displaced my second year teaching, I continued to teach Kindergarten at a new school. One of the first things that was gifted to me by my new colleagues was this book. Our entire school read this book during the first week and it really helps set the tone for understanding and empathy through the school year. As a bonus, students understand and can explain how to be a bucket filler. As an incentive, our school recognized students who go above and beyond by reading their names over the loudspeaker along with their bucket-filling actions. 

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A timeless classic about a young girl with the most unique name. When Chrysanthemum starts school, she loves her name; but her classmates don’t quite agree from the start. After some time being teased, Chrysanthemum no longer wants to go to school. With some careful guidance and kind words from her teacher, Chrysanthemum realizes that being herself is really a wonderful thing. 

Download 4

Do Unto Otters

My first school adopted this book as our school-wide mentor text. The characters, friendly woodland creatures, teach youngsters about how to be good friends. We all know the golden rule, treat others how you would like to be treated. The book’s adorable innovation is: do unto otters as you would like otters to do unto you!

Download 3

All Are Welcome

This story has bright illustrations of people with different cultural backgrounds and races, cohabitating peacefully. The message: “All are welcome here” is repeated throughout the book and teaches readers about acceptance and diversity. This text is one that all of my students love to come back to again and again, and it is bound to be a favorite with your class this year. 


Creating this list was incredibly difficult- there are SO many books I would love to have added onto this list- but it would quickly turn into a library. Speaking of libraries: share pictures of your favorites with the teacher community on Instagram: @classtagme, or Twitter/Facebook: @Classtag. 

And if you’re looking for some great literacy activities to accompany your reading on International Literacy Day 2023, try these:

  1. Waterford’s 15 Fun Activities For International Literacy Day
  2. Read Write Think’s Celebrate International Literacy Day! Resources for all grades
  3. Assess Your Communication Culture: Are you communicating with all your families in a way they can access the information?
  4. Don’t forget to Update Your ClassTag Classroom Theme to Reading Vibes to help celebrate!

Reading Vibes ClassTag Classroom Theme

What are some books that you read to your class for International Literacy Day 2023? Why do you read them? Let us know in a comment and we may update this article to include your suggestion! 

Updated by ClassTag Staff 9/2023

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