The Book of Books?
World Book Day is on 5 March 2020
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To celebrate World Book Day by introducing the Bible.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to have available a selection of books including some Bibles to show, especially children’s Bibles.
- If you are sharing this assembly on World Book Day, comment on some of the costumes that the children are wearing. Alternatively, you will need a more generic introduction.
- Ask the children about the sorts of books they enjoy.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Ask the children to think about the following questions.
- Do you have a favourite book?
- Do you have a favourite author?
- Explain that you are going to show the children the world’s bestselling book of all time.
Ask the children to guess what book this might be.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Tell the children that you are going to give them a few clues to see whether they can guess the title of the book. If the children know the answer at any point, encourage them to put their hand up, but not give their answer until you have completed all of the clues.
- This book isn’t just one book, it’s more like a book of books. In fact, it’s a bit like holding an entire library in your hands!
- This book is made up of 66 smaller books.
- For many years, the stories in this book were passed on by word of mouth. It took hundreds of years for them all to be written down.
- When this book was first translated into English so that people could read it and understand it for themselves, it was seen as such a dangerous book that the person who had done the translation was killed!
- This book has adventure, romance, danger, battles, poetry and more.
- Ask the children if any of them know the title of the book.
Some groups of children may now know what it is; others will have no idea. Invite the children to share their ideas, without criticism.
- Show one of the Bibles. If more than one type of Bible is available, show the different types.
Explain that the Bible is split into two parts: the Old Testament, which tells stories of what happened before Jesus was born, and the New Testament, which explains what happened when Jesus was born through to after he had returned to heaven.
There are stories about battles, shipwrecks and adventures; stories about miracles that Jesus performed; and stories about how the world was created. There are poems that people wrote to worship God, and letters that Jesus’ followers wrote to encourage each other.
- Sometimes, we might see the Bible as a dusty old book with tiny writing that is far too long for us to read. However, there are versions available that just tell a few of the key stories, especially for children.
- Show a few examples of children’s Bibles.
Talk about what these children’s Bibles include. Encourage the children to have a look at the Bibles after the assembly, perhaps with a display in the school library or by sending them round different classes to be looked at during the week.
Time for reflection
World Book Day is a great day to celebrate stories and books. We can all enjoy books because there are so many different kinds; we can all find something that we will love. Today, we can be thankful that we get to learn to read so that we can enjoy these books for ourselves. We can also be thankful for all the authors who have given us stories to enjoy.
Today, the Bible is the bestselling book in the whole world. For Christians, this book is very special and important. It teaches them more about God and what it means to follow him. For all of us, it’s a book that we can take a look at for ourselves. We may already know some of the stories, but if we take a look at it, we will discover new things to learn and enjoy about it.
Enjoy World Book Day today! And enjoy your books! Why not try to read something new this week?
Thank you for books and stories.
Thank you for the Bible, which tells us more about you.
Thank you for the opportunity to learn to read so that we can discover these things for ourselves.
‘Living and learning’ (Songs for Every Assembly by Mark and Helen Johnson, Out of the Ark Music). It is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phy2jTi1Ls4 (0.55 minutes long)
‘3.9. Thirty-nine’ by Ishmael. It is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF82-GoVt7Q (1.43 minutes long)