23.04.2020, Elena Chukhlantseva
World Book Day and The Week of Reading in Finland go creative
Today is International World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book. It is an annual event organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. World Book Day was first celebrated on 23 April 1995, and continues to be recognized on that day.
World Book Day coincides with the annual Week of Reading in Finland 📖🎧 The Reading Center https://lukuviikko.fi/ and the whole Finland celebrate the power of reading, creativity and stories. According to international comparative research, Finland is the most reading country in the world. People may own books but they do not have to as they can access libraries wherever they live. Some libraries even operate based on flexible time schedules and self-service. Finnish libraries have rich and constantly renewable collections of books and periodicals.
However, libraries do not only loan books. Libraries are popular cultural centers where events and happenings for families, children and adults are organized. Besides, there are possibilities of borrowing iPads or some sports equipment, working in quiet spaces or doing music practice in specially equipped music rooms.
Unfortunately, many of the great opportunities are not available due to Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown period. On the other hand, this time has given an additional boost to reading more books, using e-library service, listening to audiobooks and making use of other related digital solutions. This time The Week of Reading is held as a virtual reading festival! The Reading Center of Finland produces remotely exploitable content and invites everyone to participate in creative reading styles, producing poetry and stories, and sharing their own reading experiences and book tips.📚
Following the call of The Week of Reading to engage in creative experiences, one can try a number of ways to experiment with stories and texts. Do children like reading the same story over and over again or find a new story so existing and would like to know how it continues? Then why not to extend the story or one of its scenes by adding a third dimension to it. In this way, the story looks and sounds a way more real, enriched with details and connected to deeper thoughts of a child. Furthermore, the original story may turn into a whole new story and open a door to another adventure.
One of the favourite children’s stories can get an interesting plot twist if to remake the part of the text by pulling out interesting words and phrases while leaving out others. And here you go, a new interpretation or even a story is created. One such experiment with the original episode comes from the Finnish children’s story ‘Buffalo-Bill’s Wild West Circus’ by Mauri Kunnas. Well, it only remains to imagine what happens to the characters of the story once the whole locomotive has to stop for two days in the prairie.
A great huge steam locomotive carrying people, cattle, goods and mail was travelling west from New England to Palookavi. But lost one of his shoes and can’t go and have to be there until the day after tomorrow, can’t drive the speed!
If you have not come across such LessonApp methods like Poetry-by-chance or Playful writing yet, have a go and see how a child can become a poet or a writer! For instance, a poem-by-chance brings new insights to how to work with words. A poem does not have to be grammatically correct. While several words and punctuation marks can be missing, the meaning of a poem lies in its power to evoke associations, images and feelings in one’s mind. Besides, the activities in which everyone succeeds promote the joy of learning and belief in oneself.
Creative storytelling with the help of story cubes or pictures or puppets and drawing comics for a story are among many other ways to encourage more reading and creative production. All stories are good stories, whether written or simply told.