Ten ways to use Rugby Six Nations 2017 to encourage children to read for pleasure

The 2017 Six Nations is going to be intense. It will be closely fought, with most nations capable of beating each other on the day. Ireland and England are favourites, but both have to play away in Wales. A huge challenge. And – with Scotland and France improving significantly – there are five countries realistically challenging for the trophy.

It’s competitive. Interest will be high. That’s why it’s a great chance to use the Six Nations to promote reading for pleasure.

Here are ten things you can do in your school, library or home. Free resources are available to back up most of what you’ll read below.

One   Read my Guardian blog about great rugby fiction and non-fiction books: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/mar/19/tom-palmers-top-10-rugby-reads-for-kids

Two   Put some posters up in your library or classroom. Free printed and downloadable posters available here: http://tompalmer.co.uk/rugby/rugby-literacy/.  Available in Welsh and English.

Three   Use the free reading and writing resources I created for the RFU in 2015: http://englandrugbyteachersresource.com/

Four   Send a letter to parents suggesting ways they can use the Six nations to encourage their child to read at home: http://tompalmer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Ten-top-tips-2015-rugby.pdf. Also available for fans of Wales, Scotland and New Zealand.

Five   Read one of my short Rugby Academy rugby novels as a class reader at the start of the tournament: http://tompalmer.co.uk/rugby/rugby-academy/. You can check out the first chapters of each book to make sure it’ll work for you.

Six   Watch a short video by me, reading from Scrum, then try the comprehension out on the children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0C0Q6UhGs8.

Seven   Download the free Love Rugby Love Reading toolkit I created for the National Literacy Trust, full of ideas for activities, events and displays to promote reading for pleasure in schools: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/resources/practical_resources_info/3632_love_rugby_love_reading.

Eight   Play Rugby Player Top Trumps. Download the cards for free here: http://tompalmer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Top-Trumps-Rugby-Card-Game.pdf. You can also play spot the mistake on these cards. There are two!

Nine   Invite me to your school to run my popular Rugby Reading Game. Find out more about that here: http://tompalmer.co.uk/rugby/rugby-reading-game/. I am available from September, so you could tie this in with the 2017 autumn internationals.

Ten   Check out the other free resources on my website including rugby book review, blogs, certificates and more for children in your school or library or home: http://tompalmer.co.uk/rugby/rugby-literacy/.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the Six Nations.