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We’ve created some great activities to help extend children’s reading of the inspiring poem Dare! They’re perfect for enjoying the book at home or in the classroom. These activities are based on a session held for a local Reception class at Stroud Green and Harringay Library as part of the children’s reading festival June Fest.

Read the book

Dare is an expressive rhyming poem that’s ideal for being read aloud. Older or more confident readers might want to try reading it aloud themselves. They might also like to try memorising and reciting the poem. After reading it a few times, talk about the language. How did the book make you feel? Can you identify the rhyming words? Try different ways of reading the book, for instance you could whisper the words “dare to enjoy a silent night”, or confidently shout “dare to speak when others won’t”.

Have a discussion

Here are some questions to spark a discussion around the themes and ideas in the book. Feel free to add your own.

  • Did you enjoy the book? It’s okay to say no! What did you like? What did you not like?
  • The signs in the book say ‘Save our oceans now’ and ‘Say no to plastic’. Why do you think that is?
  • On this page, everyone is dressing up. What are the children dressing up as? If you could dress up as anything, what would you be?
  • The girl on the cover of the book is wearing a hearing aid. Can anyone tell me what a hearing aid does? Why might someone need to use one?
  • These people are having a protest. Can anyone tell me what protest means? Why might you have a protest?

Colouring activity

We created a colouring-in sheet based on one of the brilliant illustrations in Dare. The sheet is free to download and print here. Once they’ve coloured in the picture, children can write in their own protest slogans. It might be helpful to first talk about what things they might want to change in the world, and share some examples. It can be as silly or as serious as they want. Areas to think about might be: being kind to animals, helping the environment, stopping bullying or promoting gender equality. Asking them to think about things that might affect other people is a great way to extend the discussion and encourage empathy.

Download your free colouring sheet here.

Make your own protest sign

This is a fun craft activity that encourages children to think about how they can make a difference in the world, no matter how small. All you need is a piece of card or thick paper to write your slogans on. You can make it double-sided by sticking two pieces of card together, and write a different slogan on each side. A 30 centimetre ruler sandwiched in between makes a great handle. Once they’ve written their slogans, children can draw or cut out and stick an image of what they’re protesting. If it’s something they’re against, they can draw a big red line through it.

Hold your own protest

Once your signs are finished, you’re ready to march! Hold up your protest signs with pride and march around your home or school, letting the world know what you believe in. You could even come up with your own protest chant — the earlier discussion of rhyme words should help with this.

We hope you and your children/class enjoy these activities! Be sure to check out our activities and teacher resources for all our other books!

  • Read a review by senior lecturer Mathew Tobin: Dare is simple and inspiring!
  • Read a review by Lecturer in Primary Education Sue McGonigle for Books for Keeps: 5 stars for the exuberant picture book Dare!
  • A mum explains why she loves Dare!

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