Lesson video

In progress...



My name is Ms. Madden and I'm really looking forward to talking about reading with you today.

Let's get started In this lesson, we will begin by thinking about why we recommend books, why recommend books? Then we will move on to find out what genre is.

Then we will talk about some picture books and I will recommend some to you, and you can think of your own recommendations.


I will recommend some non-fiction texts to you.

This will be a chance for you to think about your recommendations too.

And finally, will be an opportunity for you to write your own sticky note recommendations.

Don't worry if you don't know what that is, you'll find out in the lesson.

In this lesson, you'll need an exercise book or some paper, a pencil, or a pen to write with and a sticky note or post-it note would be fantastic.

That's a little piece of paper that has a sticky edge.

Now don't worry if you don't have a sticky note or post-it note, because paper is also absolutely fine.

Press pause and get these things now.


Let's get going.

First of all, let's just remind ourselves, what is reading for pleasure? Can you say it out loud? Yes.

Reading for pleasure is the reading that we do for the pure enjoyment of it.

It's the books we read because we really want to, not because they've been sent to us or that we're doing a research project but it's the reading that we do for the love of reading.

And it's really important for so many reasons.

So why recommend books? Book recommendations have a lot to do with reading for pleasure because the more we find out about books we might enjoy or tell other people about books, they might enjoy, the more people can read books for pleasure.

Who recommends books to you? Can you press pause and say it aloud or write down their names? Who do you recommend books to? Have you ever read something that you thought is so brilliant and you really wanted to recommend it to someone else? Have they then read that book? Do you have people you recommend books to? Can you press pause and say their names aloud or write them down? So why is this important? Like I said, that recommendations are so important because it helps us build a culture of talking about books.

It helps us create a buzz around some books where we feel really excited to read them because someone else had or because a book is really popular.

And if you really enjoyed a book and who's to say that someone else would really love it too.

So it's really helpful to everyone if you can tell other people about the books that you love.

It's one of my favourite things to do.

Talk about books with other people.

What's trending now, what is trending? What does that word even mean? Perhaps you've had it before.

When we talk about what's trending, we mean what's really popular.

What's everyone watching or reading at the time? Perhaps you've seen that phrase used on a TV subscription.

So perhaps on something like Netflix where you see the really popular TV shows of the time.

So what's trending in books at the moment? Do you know any books that are really popular? Perhaps lots of your friends have read it or perhaps someone in your family has read a book and then someone else in your family has read it.

Are there any books that you think should be trending? They're so great that everyone would love to read it.

Could you write down those ideas now? Fantastic.


What is genre? This is quite important when we're thinking about book recommendations, what is genre? You might've had this word used by an adult, a parent or a carer or a teacher, when you're talking about a book they might have said to you, what genre is that book? Do you know what that word means? If you think you do can you press pause and say it aloud? So when we talk about a genre, we mean a style or category of art, music or literature.

Is a way of helping us explain what kind of book a book is when we're talking about genre in literature.

There were lots and lots of different genres.

Here are a few of them as biography, which is writing about someone's life, historical fiction.

So that's narrative that's made up or set in a historical period.

Science fiction is a very popular genre.

So the movie, the film "Star Wars" is in this science fiction genre, but writing in literature, that is science fiction often set in the future, that exciting technology that doesn't exist.

Now, there's mystery where there's a problem to be solved.

There's poetry, all sorts of different kinds of forms of poetry but poetry can often evoke a strong emotion.

There's traditional literature.

That might include fairy tales or stories from different cultures.

There's fantasy, which might have magical elements.

Perhaps you've heard of Harry Potter, that's in the fantasy genre.

And of course there's non-fiction.

Non-fiction means not fiction, not made up.

So non-fiction is a very wide genre that really means anything that is based on truth.

It's based in reality.

Now these are just some of the genres.

There's lots more.

Can you think of any genres I've missed out? Press pause and say them aloud.


Now, the reason we're thinking about genre in today's lesson about reading recommendations is it can be helpful to broaden the kind of genres that you like reading.

Sometimes we get a bit stuck in our ways and we read a particular kind of book.

For example, if you really like fantasy books then you want to read the next one and the next one.

And that is great.

However, sometimes people might recommend a bit to you from a different genre to that you are used to, and that can be really exciting.

Also, it can be helpful when we are recommending a book to be able to describe what genre it is to help the person know a bit more about the book.

So now we're going to have a little think about picture books and illustrators.

Do you have a favourite illustrator? Who is your favourite illustrator? That someone who draws the pictures or illustrates a book, it might be illustrations in a chapter book, or it could be a picture book.

Perhaps you can't remember their name but you remember the book.

Can you say it out loud now, press pause.


I'm going to share with you two recommendations of picture books that I love and illustrate this.

First, there is "Kai monkey king." And this is written and illustrated by someone called Joe Todd Stanton.

Now this book is part of a series of fantastic series called the "Brownstone" mythical collection.

I really love them.

And I think you were too, the illustrations are so beautiful and there is so much to look at and the stories are really fantastic.

Each one explores a different mythical tradition.

So you might have heard of the Monkey King before.

And this story about king is about that tradition and that story of the Monkey King, but there are lots of others in the series.

My next reading recommendation is a book called "Can I build another me?" And this is written and illustrated by Shin Suki, Yoshi Taki who has also written lots of other fantastic picture books.

Now this is a very philosophical book.

There are so many ideas explored in it.

And each double page spread that you read creates lots of questions in your own head.

And I like to sit and read it and wonder.

So perhaps you would like to read one of these books.

Can you point to the one which you think sounds the best? Fantastic.

Now, let's think about some non-fiction books.

Remember that means not made up.

What are your favourite non-fiction books? Do you have any non-fiction books you just love to read, any topics or themes that you love to read about? If you do, can you press pause and say them aloud, now.

I wish I could hear your recommendations.

I have some recommendations here for you.

I have really brilliant non-fiction books.

The first is a book called "Africa," "Amazing Africa" written by Atinuke who's written quite a lot of fiction that you might have read.

Now, this non-fiction book came out quite recently and it is a beautiful book.

It gives so much amazing and fascinating information about all the different countries in Africa.

The book is organised in a really helpful way by geographical region.

So you can read about the countries in Southern Africa or Northern Africa.

There are also amazing illustrations which really help the reader imagine what Atinuke is writing about.

I love dipping in and out of this book.

My next recommendation is the book, "Curiosity." "The story of a Mars Rover" by Markus Motum.

Now, if you are interested in space or you might have considered being an astronaut, then this is the book for you.

It's so interesting to find out about the incredible story of this Mars Rover.

I highly recommend it.

Now, last but not least, I'd like to recommend, "Malala's Magic Pencil" by Malala Yousafzai.

Now this is an autobiographical story that's got a little bit of magic intertwined in it, but it is the story of Malala's life.

Now, Malala, you may have heard of, is someone truly inspirational.

She is a campaigner for human rights and her story combine with the beautiful illustrations and this is a great picture book to read.

I wonder, do any of these sound interesting to you? Point to the one you might like to read.


So we've had a little think about picture books and illustrators.

We've looked at some non-fiction books.

What are your recommended reads? What have you read recently that you loved and that you really think other people might enjoy? Have a think.

Can you write those ideas down now? Okay.

Now is time for our sticky note recommendations.

What do I mean by sticky note recommendations? Here are some examples.

So a sticky note recommendation is when we recommend a book to someone else simply by leaving.

Some ideas on a sticky note on a book, and it could be a sticky note or it could be a piece of paper with your writing on that.

You just slip inside like a bookmark for someone to read.

So when someone sees the book they say, "Look, I really love this book.

Let me read." Why? perhaps I might like to read it.

It's a way of creating a nice surprise for someone and encouraging them to read that book.

So when we write our sticky note recommendations or you write your recommendation on a piece of paper, we have to think about what makes a good recommendation.

What do you think you would want to write? Can you settle out? Okay.

You might write about the genre and style of the writing.

So you might say, this is a book of poetry or this is a non-fiction text.

And the style you might say, this book is really funny.

The style is very silly or serious.

You might talk about similar stories.

So this book is a bit similar to this story or similar authors.

Sometimes that can be really helpful for someone to think about whether they might like it.

It can be really helpful to say, why did you like it? For example, I really liked this book because I knew nothing about the Mars Rover before this, or I like this book because it made me laugh, because the reason you like it might be the reason that someone else would like it, and it can be helpful to include how did it make you feel? So if reading this book made you feel excited or inspired or it made you feel sad and reflective, that can be really helpful.

Often people like reading books because it helps them feel a strong emotion or it helps us empathise or understand how someone else lives.

And that can be really good to put in your recommendation.

When you write your recommendation, don't forget to write your ideas in full sentences.

I love this book because, full stop.

I think you would love it if, full stop.

These are just some ideas to help you write your sentences, but you should write what you think.

Could you write your first two sentences now, either on your sticky note or on your piece of paper for one of the books that you want to recommend, off you go.


So you've made a great start.

Now it's time for you to finish your task of recommending a favourite book or you could recommend lots of books.

You could recommend it to a friend.

You could recommend to a family member, a parent or carer, you could recommend to a teacher.

So write down your recommendations on your paper or on a sticky note, you could write one two, three, four, or even five recommendations.

The more, the better because that will help build this culture of reading.

Perhaps you know the next great book that's going to be a trend and that everyone will want to read.

And then a friend or a family member can find out about this great book and they'll enjoy it too.

Off you go.

Well done.

In this lesson, we thought about why it was important to recommend books.

We learned about what genre means and explored some different kinds of genre.

I recommended to you some picture books and I recommended to you some non-fiction texts.

Then you thought of your own recommendations and you created your own sticky note recommendation or a paper recommendation.

Remember the more you talk about books the better.

Try and recommend a book to someone today in written form, or just by telling them.

Congratulations, you have completed your lesson, happy reading.