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Love Football: Love Reading 2014

How to use the World Cup to encourage reading for
pleasure in your school

In the summer term of 2014 the National Literacy Trust worked with the children’s football fiction author, Tom Palmer, on a unique set of downloadable World Cup reading resources. The free resources, funded by Renaissance Learning and the Football Association, used the buzz created around the tournament to encourage children to read for pleasure. 

See below for further information about the resources that were available for free to all schools. 

ToolkitA toolkit of reading activities

A treasure-trove of practical ideas, activities and resources that schools, libraries and learning centres at football clubs could use to promote reading through the World Cup. View

Tom PalmerFoul Play Brazil - an original World Cup story by Tom Palmer

A 24-episode adventure story that responded to the events of the World Cup as they happened. Each chapter was roughly 700 words long (a five to ten minute classroom read) and was published before 8am every weekday from Wednesday 11 June to Monday 14 July. View

Writing exerciseDaily writing challenges

Writing challenges based on the events that took place at the 2014 World Cup, both on and off the pitch, were available for National Literacy Trust Network members. These challenges were also published every weekday morning during the tournament before 8am. View

Frank LampardWorld Cup Reading Selfie competition

During the tournament we ran a World Cup Reading Selfie prize draw, asking children to have their photo taken reading something related to the World Cup for the chance to win an exclusive book signed by footballer and author Frank Lampard. View

ARAuthor posters from Renaissance Learning

Five downloadable posters featuring pictures of children’s authors - Bali Rai, Dan Freedman, David Bedford, Helena Pielichaty and Tom Palmer - and explaining in fifty words what they would be reading during the World Cup. Brought to you by our friends at Renaissance Learning. View

Football cardsWorld Cup Reading Football Cards

We collected submissions for a World Cup Reading Football Card poster. Each nation participating in the 2014 World Cup was represented by a football card featuring a child living in the UK who has a connection to that nation. Instead of regular football cards, which show a player's football statistics, these cards showed children's vital reading statistics. View

Skills from BrazilResources shared by schools and authors

A compilation of World Cup resources shared with us by schools and others with an interest in using football to promote literacy. View

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Additional resources at

AROur sponsors Renaissance Learning have also produced some other great football-related resources especially for you, including:

  • A hard copy Dan Freedman poster 
  • Mini quizzes on the five authors featured in our World Cup posters 
Frank Lampard, England mid-fielder:

“I think the National Literacy Trust’s World Cup toolkit is a fantastic idea and a great resource for getting kids enthusiastic about reading and writing at a time when the world’s focus will be on football. I hope children enjoy reading the daily instalments while keeping up with the England Team’s progress in the Brazil."


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.