Activities & Printables

Introduction, Preparation, Outcomes, Read for Wellbeing Download
Activities Questions, Games, Quotations, Book Week, Literature Circles, Circle Chat Cards, Teaching Character Attributes

It’s not so difficult – you’re probably already Implementing Developmental Bibliotherapy…


Developmental Bibliotherapy occurs when Young People recognize that a change has taken place in their thoughts, feelings, actions or beliefs.
Activities for implementing Developmental Bibliotherapy can take as little as five minutes or can be developed into a unit of work. They are design to encourage the reader to reflect on significant characters or events in a story.

Here is a short introduction on PREZI 


  • Well written age appropriate novels (Graphic Novels are OK)
  • Trusted adults – Ideally the Classroom Teacher & Teacher Librarian
  • Class Time & Commitment

Core elements:

  • Each student must have read a suitable book or Graphic Novel.
  • Facilitators stimulate discussion & sharing with
    individuals &/or groups during the reading stage.
  • Followup activities & discussion questions are carefully
    designed to promote self reflection.

Character attributes

If possible, take some time to introduce Character Attributes as a class discussion.

Research has demonstrated that character encompasses a multitude of strengths that can be organized into three dimensions:
Interpersonal strengths, like gratitude, enable harmonious relationships with other people;
Intrapersonal strengths, like grit and self-control, enable achievement; and
Intellectual strengths, like curiosity, enable a fertile and free life of the mind.

The Character Attributes you decide to explore will depend somewhat on the age of the group and programs focusing on Developing Character may already be part of a wider school program. Alternatively you can create your own list of attributes to discuss, perhaps even with the assistance of the group. Introduce these ideas gradually with examples if time permits.

Here are a few you could introduce to younger groups:
Gratitude, Courage, Kindness, Generosity, Creativity and Curiosity.

Older groups might look at:
Hope, Optimism, Resilience, Self Efficacy, , Compassion, Empathy, Grit, Self control, Curiosity, Creativity and Generosity.

More ideas can be found on these pages:
Stajkovic’s Core Confidence made up of Optimism, Hope, Self-efficacy and Resilience
Seligman’s 24 Signature Strengths at VIA
Character Lab

The VIA Youth posters can be downloaded below.


A program focusing on developmental bibliotherapy, whether delivered formally or informally should produce the following outcomes in the young adult participants:

  • Core confidence – Resilience, Optimism, Hope and Self-Efficacy.
  • Empathy, Compassion, Discussion, Tolerance, Openness,
  • Awareness & Support for those experiencing mental illness themselves or caring for someone with a mental illness.
  • Better Mental Health Outcomes by minimizing barriers to Early Intervention


  • Stigmas, Stereotypes, Fears associated with Mental Illness.
  • Incidents of Aggression & Bullying in classrooms.
  • Lives disrupted due to mental illness.

Reading for Wellbeing Booklet 2018

my read4life shelf:
Read4Life's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read4life shelf)


Questions, Questions, Questions

Have a few open ended questions ready for informal conversations.

Print questions onto cards and have students pick one to ponder, discuss, as a basis for a book review or to bring the class together at the end of the lesson.

See Printables section for Questions as a list or in table form for cards.

These questions are designed to be conversation starters (not essay topics) and so there are no wrong answers for any of them. They have been grouped under Characters, Storylines, Author related and Self Reflection. A few Preliminary Questions have been included to break the ice.

Questions are also marked with a subjective “Difficulty” star rating as a guide only to reflect the complexity of the answer you might expect from your readers with .

Circle Chats – IF…

Another Circle Chat idea is to use the IF… set of cards as a discussion starter. See Printables section.

Other Activities

Literary events can be a starting point for Developmental Bibliotherapy if there is an element of self reflection, such as a conversation, about their choice.

Encourage students to get creative with Costumes, Dioramas, Plays, Competitions, Book Trailers, Bookposters, Book Reviews…

Try the Speed Booking Variation.
Download the Instructions below

Use the Weapon of Choice activity to reveal book recommendations.
In the Printables you will find 3 templates to chose from.


Meaningful quotes can help the reader to identify special messages that the author wants to share as well as helping the reader to consider parts of the text that are meaningful for them.

The Bookmark and Tag templates in the Printables section below can be used to record meaningful quotes on the reverse as they come across them.

Use the Weapon of Choice activity in Printables section to reveal favorite quotations. Remember to include Title and Author.

Quotations can be shared, illustrated, voted on.

Note: It does not matter where the quotation is found but it is important for the reader to be able to talk about how the quotation has meaning for them.

Literature Circles

Literature Circle programs are an ideal opportunity to incorporate Developmental Bibliotherapy into the Library Reading Program. Students, in groups of four or five members, work through set activities over a number of weeks as they read through the book they have selected.

See the Printables section for an instruction and activity booklet from Darryn Kruse .

Key points for Literature Circles:
  1. Children choose their own reading materials.
  2. Small temporary groups are formed, based on book choice.
  3. Different groups read different books
  4. Groups meet on a regular predictable schedule.
  5. Students use written or drawn notes to guide both their reading and discussion.
  6. Discussion topics come from the students
  7. Group meetings aim to be open, natural conversations. Often the conversations digress to topics relating to the students or loosely to the books, but should eventually return to the novel.
  8. The teacher serves as a facilitator, observer, listener and often a fellow reader, alongside the students. The teacher is not an instructor.
  9. Students are given roles or jobs to complete for each group meeting.
  10. The teacher should model how students should facilitate each role or job.
  11. Evaluation is by teacher observation and student self-evaluation and should also include extension projects.
  12. A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room.
  13. New groups form around new reading choices.

(Daniels, 1994) as cited in

It is important that the questions and activities encourage self reflection.

Teaching Character Attributes

These Posters are from the VIA (Values in Action) Website.
Download here or go to the website to learn more.
They are based on Martin Seligman’s 24 Signature Strengths
and would be a good way to introduce Character Attributes.


Questions Questions Questions
List Format (pdf),
Listformat (doc)
Table Format (pdf)

Book Review and Shelf Talk Templates –
To Come

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