Badge Support | Book Reader and Librarian Activity Badges

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There’s a reason why many claim the pen is ‘mightier than the sword’. The written word is a powerful tool, capable not only of exposing us to new and interesting ways of thinking about the world in which we live, but allowing us to find our own voices, too.

In turn, those who regularly curl up with a book in hand get more than just enjoyment. There are a host of benefits that accompany a life well read, including improved memory and concentration, stronger analytical skills and lower levels of stress, to name but a few. To support your young people as they explore the world of words, read on to find out more about our various reading Activity Badges and how to complete them.

 

Book Reader Activity Badge (Beavers)

To complete the Book Reader Activity Badge, Beavers design a cover for their favourite book and talk about why it’s their favourite. They also read six books of their choice, show that they know how to look after a book, and create their own bookmark.

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Choosing what to read

Remind Beavers that they’re in charge of choosing which books they read, and that they can change their mind as they go along. The Summer Reading Challenge  offer an online book sorting tool, which Beavers can use to help them find their perfect match.

Encourage Beavers to follow their own interests to discover what works for them and what doesn’t. Which books have they already read at home or at school? Is there anything they particularly liked or disliked? Anything they’re itching to try?  Chat about the types of stories your Beavers already enjoy and why, but remind them that experimenting with less familiar genres could lead them to discover a new and unexpected favourite.

Designing a book cover

While designing a cover for their favourite book, Beavers who would benefit from a further challenge could think about the following points:

  • Is there a way that they could give away some clues about what the book is about, without giving the ending away?
  • When they go to the library or bookshop, how do they decide which books to read?
  • How could they make someone else want to read their chosen book? 

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Taking care of books

For requirement three, Beavers have to demonstrate how to care for a book. You could chat about this with the young people completing the badge, or chat about it together as a Colony. 

Here are some things you could discuss with your Beavers:

  • Not throwing books or e-readers around, and putting them back on the shelf or in a similar safe place when we are finished reading
  • Protecting books and e-readers by making sure we don’t leave them outside and avoiding reading when we are in water
  • Making sure we have clean, dry hands before we read
  • Using a book mark to help us remember where we are in the story, instead of folding the pages of our physical books
  • Keeping food and drinks away from our books and e-readers
  • Making sure we don’t draw or colour in in our physical books, and clean e-readers

The Summer Reading Challenge

Beavers completing the Summer Reading Challenge can count this towards achieving the badge.

 

Book Reader Activity Badge (Cubs)

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To complete requirements one to four, Cubs make a list of six books they have read or used recently, and talk about at least three of them with their Cub Leader or fellow Cubs. They share the names of the authors who wrote each book, as well as any other details they find interesting.

They also demonstrate that they know how to care for their books and how to use a dictionary and thesaurus, and discuss how access to a library can benefit people who enjoy reading.

Finally, to complete requirement five and earn the badge, they write a short review of their very favourite book and share it with their Sixer, Explorer Scout Young Leader or Cub Leader.

Exploring how libraries benefit people who enjoy reading

To get the whole Pack interested in libraries and the world of possibility they house, you could arrange a visit to your local branch, or see if any librarians in your community would be interested in coming along to your meeting place to do a talk or run a book-themed activity.

You could also initiate a group conversation about the libraries young people may have already visited. Have they been to any libraries with their families? Do they have a library at their school? Why might a library be a helpful space for someone who is interested in reading?

Remind Cubs that libraries are not only spaces for books to be stored and borrowed. The real focus of every library is to provide the public with information, and to help them make sense of that information and get the best out it.

Writing a review

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If your Cubs have never written a book review at school before, you could chat about the fact that writing a book review helps other people to decide whether or not it is worth reading. It also gives Cubs the chance to express themselves and think about what they have just read.

To help kickstart their thoughts and give them some structure to work with, you could prompt Cubs to think about the following points:

  • Who was their favourite character and why? Who was their least favourite?
  • How did the book make them feel?
  • How does the book compare to other books they have read?
  • What was the best thing about the book?  Was there anything they didn’t like?
  • How many stars out of five would they award the book?

Remind Cubs that there are no wrong answers. They should not be afraid to mention the things they disliked, as well as the things they liked.

Taking care of books

For requirement three, you could chat about book care with the young people completing the badge, or raise it as a Pack. Scroll up to the Beaver segment of this blog for tips on how to look after books. 

The Summer Reading Challenge

Cubs completing the Summer Reading Challenge can count this towards achieving the badge.

Librarian Activity Badge (Scouts)

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The Librarian Activity Badge is perfect for Scouts who are particularly avid readers, as well as for those who would like to enhance their knowledge of how we store and share information.

There are lots of opportunities for Scouts to complete requirements four and five through other activities in the programme. For example, for their Expedition Challenge Award, they could use a train timetable as reference material to plan their journey, and search for information on the internet to plan their expedition or exploration. 

For requirement three, when speaking about books they have read and why they enjoyed them, Scouts may like to discuss the following points:

  • What genre was the book? What were its key themes?
  • Who was their favourite character and why? Who was their least favourite?
  • Did they see any similarities or differences between the main character’s life and their own?
  • How did the book make them feel? How did they feel about the story ending?
  • Did they find themselves unable to put the book down, or was it a bit of a chore to pick it up?
  • Is there anything they would change about the story if they could rewrite it themselves?
  • How does the book compare to other books they have read?

A note on flexibility (all Sections)

While some young people will have a natural affinity for reading and may already discuss what they’re reading at home, others may have some resistance to reading. This is especially true for young people who are new to reading, or who might find it difficult to process and comprehend written materials. Young people who have Special Educational Needs which relate to reading, such as dyslexia or ADHD/ADD, can of course still enjoy reading and benefit hugely from the skills it brings, but may need extra support and encouragement along the way.

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