Implementation of “Books as purpose of life” (SOI-MT-398)

Author: Ivana Busuttil, Primary Teacher

School/Organization: SGPC Paola Primary School, Malta

The ‘Books as the Purpose of Life’ learning scenario from the TeachWithEuropeana blog focuses on promoting reading and literacy skills among students through various interactive activities. As a teacher, I implemented this scenario during the celebration of book week at our school, as it aligned perfectly with the theme and objectives of the event.

Teaching children about the importance of books and reading as a purpose of life is essential because literacy skills are critical for personal and academic success. Books provide a wealth of knowledge and information that can broaden children’s understanding of the world around them, promote empathy, and help them develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Moreover, instilling a love for reading in children can help them develop a lifelong habit of learning and self-improvement, which can benefit them in their personal and professional lives. Overall, through this learning scenario and teaching children about the importance of books and reading is an investment in their future success and well-being.

Subject: English and Maltese Reading in State Primary School in Malta.

Class: This learning scenario was implemented with a year 6 class of 16 children grouped in groups of 4, all aged between 10 and 11.

Instead of implementing this lesson in the regular classroom, I decided to implement it in the class library. This decision was made to create a more immersive learning environment that would foster a love for books and reading in the students. The library provided a quiet and cosy atmosphere that helped to create a relaxed and comfortable learning environment. 

Using different Teaching Techniques: 

Incorporating different teaching materials and techniques during this lesson is crucial to engage and motivate students, cater to their learning styles, and enhance their overall learning experience. Group work fosters social and teamwork skills, while thinking and evaluation skills enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the content. Writing and reading are fundamental skills that develop literacy and communication. Employing different teaching methods creates a dynamic and interactive learning environment that encourages critical thinking, effective communication, and a love for books and reading.

The Importance of Discussion:

Discussion played a crucial role in the implementation of this lesson as it encouraged students to share their knowledge and perspectives on the importance of books and reading. During the lesson, I used two empty glasses to symbolize our brains, explaining that as young people, we are ’empty of knowledge and experiences.’ The discussion then focused on how, just as we are in charge of what we put in the cup, we are also responsible for what knowledge and experiences we put in our brains. Reading books was emphasized as an effective way to fill our brains with knowledge and experiences that can help us grow, learn, and succeed. This activity promoted a deeper understanding of the topic and what needs to be done for each and every one of us to reach their full potential. 

Children’s response to ‘How can we reach our full potential?’

How Books change our Lives:

I decided to tweak the learning scenario and expand it to include more personalities. Rather than focusing solely on Malala Yousafzai, I divided the students into groups and asked them to read about one personality each. The options were Maria Montessori, Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, and Agatha Christie. After reading, each group presented their findings on their respective personality. During the presentations, the students highlighted how each personality had achieved their purpose in life by reading books. This activity allowed students to explore how books have the power to change lives and open doors to new opportunities. The activity was a success, and the students were excited to learn about different personalities and how books played a significant role in shaping their lives.

Children reading books and children’s points about the Personalities lives.

Writing our own stories:

As an addition to the lesson, I provided each group of children with an image from Europeana books and gave them the opportunity to write their own story on the image. They used the Author Premium app on their tablets to write their story. Author Premium was particularly important because it allowed the children to be creative and express their ideas in a fun and engaging way. After completing their stories, each group shared their work with the whole class, and the children listened attentively to each other’s stories. This activity enabled the students to showcase their writing skills and fostered a sense of collaboration and teamwork. The students were excited to

hear each other’s stories and were proud of their work, making it an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone involved.

Children working in their stories and presenting their work

Main Learning outcomes:

  • Develop critical thinking skills by analysing how books have impacted the lives of various personalities throughout history.
  • Develop reading comprehension skills by reading about different personalities and their achievements.
  • Develop writing skills by creating their own stories using Author Premium.
  • Foster creativity by using their imagination to write their own stories.
  • Foster collaboration and teamwork by working in groups and sharing their stories with the whole class.
  • Develop presentation skills by presenting their stories to the class.
  • Develop communication skills by actively participating in group discussions and sharing their perspectives with others.


To ensure a successful implementation of this learning scenario, it is essential to create an environment that promotes a love for books and reading. This can be achieved by setting up a comfortable and inviting learning space, such as a library or reading corner. It is also important to use a variety of teaching techniques, such as group work, discussions, and presentations, to engage the students and cater to different learning styles. Additionally, it is important to recognize and encourage each student’s unique talents and skills and provide opportunities for them to showcase their creativity and ideas.

My Personal Experience:

Implementing this learning scenario and furthermore incorporating to the school’s book celebration week was a highly rewarding experience. It was amazing to see how engaged and inspired my students became as we explored the accomplishments of inspirational figures and discussed the importance of reading. The use of group work, discussions, and presentations helped to keep the students engaged and allowed for different learning styles to be catered to. Additionally, the writing activity using the Author Premium app provided a creative outlet for the students to showcase their talents and ideas. Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity to promote a lifelong love of learning and inspire my students to achieve their own goals and aspirations.

Additional Europeana Resources to consider:

Teachers can use other Europeana learning scenarios such as “Books Unchained: The Spread of Literacy in Europe”, “From Reading to Inclusion”, and “Cultural Literacy: from National Culture Day to International Children’s Book Day” as an addition to the “Books as Life’s Purpose” learning scenario to help continue fostering a love for reading and books in children. These lessons provide a broader perspective on the history and significance of books and literacy, as well as highlighting the importance of inclusivity and cultural literacy. Educators can use these resources to encourage critical thinking, group work, and creative expression in children, while also reinforcing the importance of reading and books in our lives.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Books as the purpose of life created by Mara- Mihaela Frenț

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Statens Museum for Kunst.

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