Make a classroom Rugby World Cup reading display

Using a major sporting tournament as a hook for a display is a great way of engaging new children with reading. Combining a giant score-chart, a world map and photographs of sporting heroes along with encouragement and prompts to read for pleasure is guerrilla reader development at its finest. Below are ten ideas for a rugby reading display.

The wall display can go where wall displays work best for you. In the library. In the classroom. In the hall. In reception. A place where the children – and maybe their parents – can revisit it, taking advantage of its interactive elements.


One: centrepiece

You need something visual at the centre of the display. Something to catch the eye. To excite the imagination. A World Map featuring all 20 teams taking part in the Rugby World Cup. A Rugby World Cup wall chart – from a magazine or homemade. A huge image of the trophy or a player. An England (or other) rugby top. One you have your centrepiece you can build you display around that.


Two: rugby reading goal

Use strips of white paper on a green background to make a giant – or medium sized – set of rugby posts in the classroom, library or hall. Ask children to fill in book reviews on our free downloadable rugby ball shaped review sheet, then challenge them to put the ball where it belongs. Between the posts if it was great. Wide of the mark if not so good. Leave it up to them.


Three: newspaper match previews and reports

It is important to constantly refresh a tournament wall display. Choose the best online or print daily articles and pin them up towards the foot of the display so that everyone can read them.


Four: book and magazine covers

Include cover images of books and magazines to do with rugby. Make them as important parts of the display as what is going on in the tournament. Try and make sure the books are relevant to the tournament. For instance biographies of participating players. Histories of teams involved. Include some rugby fiction.

It is okay for you to use cover images printed off the internet or photocopied. Publishers and authors see it as promotion, not a copyright issue. As long as you don’t alter the cover – or use only part of it, then go ahead and use it.


Five: rugby reading selfies

Ask children and teachers to take rugby reading selfies of themselves reading rugby books, newspapers and magazines. Perhaps in rugby settings like stadiums, with a rugby ball, on a rugby pitch. Challenge them to come up with extreme rugby reading ideas. Offer a prize for the most original.


Six: prediction league

Challenge individuals or whole classes to predict all the results of the tournament. Keep a chart of which class or rugby fan is in the lead on your display. Offer a prize for the winner. Update it every day to encourage children to check it – and the other aspects of the display – out.


Seven: table of books and magazines

If you can, place a table of rugby books, magazines and newspapers underneath the display, then everyone coming to have a look at it can be tempted to borrow a book or at least have a browse. Put magazines and newspapers on there too.


Eight: rugby props

Decorate the display with familiar rugby props. (No pun intended.) Balls. Shirts. Shorts. Socks. Skullcaps. Mouth guards. Anything you can find.


Nine: websites

If you can put the display up in front of a computer terminal, then make sure the home page on the terminal is one of the main rugby websites (see the list of good sites in appendix). Encourage children to browse the website, hopefully attracting more online rugby readers.


Ten: local support

Ask a local rugby club player or coach to recommend a good read. Choose an older player who might have kids. Suggest they send a signed photo or hand-written letter that can become an important part of the display.

For more free ideas and resources about using the Rugby World Cup to encourage children to read for pleasure, please visit and check out the Read Rugby toolkit. It takes less than a minute to subscribe.