Celebrate stories with our World Book Day swimming lesson activities

World Book Day is on 5 March and we’ve come up with some ideas so you can bring books to life in your swimming lessons. Using the power of storytelling is a great way to inspire your swimmers and get participants to have fun while learning new skills.

Miss Trunchbull Lookout – Matilda

Miss Trunchbull is the Headmistress / Principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary School, attended by Matilda. In the book, she is depicted as a ‘gigantic terror, who frightens the life out of pupils and teachers’.

Activity:

  1. Participants enter the pool and travel around until the teacher calls ‘Miss Trunchbull!’
  2. Swimmers need to exit the pool at the nearest point trying not to use the steps, beach approach or an assistant.

Safety note: Learners do not re-enter the water until told

This activity can be used for Swim England Learn to Swim Stages 1 -7

Equipment: Floatation equipment can be used if required.

Supports Core Aquatic Skills:

  • Entries
  • Exits
  • Buoyancy and Balance
  • Rotation and Orientation
  • Aquatic Breathing
  • Travel and Coordination
  • Water Safety
  • Health and Fitness

To make is it easier, allow the use of steps, beach approach or assistant in the water.

To make it harder, work in deep water and specify a mode of travel.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, who loves eating begins to look for some food. He eats through increasing quantities. Eventually, the Very Hungry Caterpillar gets a stomach ache and is no longer hungry anymore. The caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and emerges as a butterfly.

Activity:

  1. Each participant becomes the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  2. The caterpillars move with a dolphin kick for up to 10 metres on their front or back and then submerge to collect ‘food’ from the pool floor.
  3. Caterpillars collect:
    • One Apple
    • Two Pears
    • Three Plums
    • Four Strawberries
    • Five Oranges

Safety note: Do not use floatation equipment when on the front as it puts a strain on the back.

Teaching tip: The action is continuous, move the head up and down to help undulation, wriggly action like a caterpillar.

This activity can be used for Swim England Learn to Swim Stages 3 and 4

Equipment: Weighted Sink Rings and/or sinking toys to mimic food on the floor.

Supports Core Aquatic Skills:

  • Buoyancy and Balance
  • Rotation and Orientation
  • Streamlining
  • Aquatic Breathing
  • Travel and Coordination
  • Health and Fitness

To make is it easier, reduce the distance to travel, have a noodle around their waist or get participants to hold a ball on their tummy when travelling on their back.

To make it harder, increase the distance to travel or dolphin kick to the pool floor to pick up ‘food’.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

A family and their dog go out to hunt a bear. They travel through grass, a river, mud, a forest and a snowstorm, before coming face to face with a bear in its cave. This meeting causes panic and the family run home, across all the obstacles, followed by the bear!

Activity:

  1. Position weighted hoops in a line on the pool floor. Each corresponds to the grass, river, mud, forest, snowstorm and cave.
  2. Swimmers need to headfirst surface dive and travel through the hoops across the pool.
    • Travel through the long wavy grass – “Swishy Swashy”
    • Travel through the deep cold river – “Splash Splosh”
    • Travel through the thick oozy mud – “Squelch Squelch”
    • Travel through the big dark forest – “Stumble Trip”
    • Travel through a swirling whirling snowstorm – “Hoooo Woooo”
    • Travel through a narrow gloomy cave – “Tiptoe Tiptoe – What’s that…IT’S A BEAR!”
  3. Participants must swim back through the cave, snowstorm, forest, mud, river, and grass all the way home, whilst the bear is chasing.

Safety note: Check depth is suitable before surface diving.

This activity can be used for Swim England Learn to Swim Stage 6

Equipment: Weighted Hoops

Supports Core Aquatic Skills:

  • Buoyancy and Balance
  • Rotation and Orientation
  • Streamlining
  • Aquatic Breathing
  • Travel and Coordination
  • Water Safety
  • Health and Fitness

To make is it easier, use a small course and work in shallow water.
To make it harder, participants can tread water whilst they are waiting for their turn. You can also use two teams and two sets of hoops. The first team to complete the course chooses a favourite activity.