Revolutionising the book review
Please note the deadline for entries for this competition has now passed and the winner has been chosen. Read about the results.
The National Literacy Trust and Oxford University Press kicked off 2012 by launching ReadThis, a competition for all UK secondary schools that ran from January to March 2012.
What was it all about?
We know that for teenagers, friends are an important influencer on attitudes and behaviour towards reading; our 2008 Self-perceptions as readers research found that the materials pupils believed their friends are reading largely mirrored their own reading choices, and their perceptions of how their friends view readers also closely resembled their own views of readers. The ReadThis competition provided teachers with a platform for engaging students with reading using the power of peer-to-peer recommendation. It gave a new edge to book reviewing by asking students to put a “creative marketing” spin on the task in hand.
How did it work?
Your students are ambitious publishers with a fantastic new book to promote. They love the book, and want to persuade others to go out and read it too. How can they promote the book in a creative way that will grab people’s attention?
To enter the ReadThis competition, students chose a book that they have read and enjoyed, then put themselves in the shoes of the book’s publisher and promoted the book in the most creative way they could think of, with a specific audience in mind – their peers.
The competition was all about creating a buzz around the book, thinking of imaginative ways of getting people’s attention and being persuasive. All shapes and sizes of entry were accepted - Facebook campaigns, blog, promo videos, posters, interviews, and much more in between…
The entry that the judging panel believed to be the most creative and persuasive was selected as the winner. See results.
For the school:
- An exciting visit from top children's author Ali Sparkes!
- Vouchers from Oxford University Press to spend on their Secondary English resources, worth a massive £500.
For the student:
- A book voucher from Oxford University Press worth £50 that can be used on any title – so that they can keep on reading.
- A voucher for www.amazon.co.uk worth £50 – we hope that whatever they use it for they write a review, so that they can keep up with the peer recommendation!
How did this fit in with school activities?
The ReadThis competition made a great classroom activity for English, Media or Business Studies lessons, a fun project for a lunchtime or after-school club, a tutor time activity or a library-based challenge.
We produced an eye-catching downloadable A3 poster promoting the ReadThis competition, to help teachers and librarians raise awareness around school. Download poster.
Members of our network were also able to access suggested activities to complement this competition and general ideas for encouraging peer recommendation in school.