October 31st: Halloween Read

The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Hallowe’en feast; the Great Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Rubeus Hagrid’s vast pumpkins had been carved into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumours that Albus Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.” – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)

Originated from a Celtic harvest festival or the Christian tradition of All Saint’s Day, Halloween heralds the approaching cold season and is widely celebrated as a non-religious tradition to frighten away evil spirits and ghosts. Lit4School offers a variety of texts for all school types that can serve as a starting point for your Halloween lesson(s): For bewitched and spooky little stories for our younger learners Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Nate the Great and The Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont, How to Scare a Ghost by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish or Froggy’s Halloween by Jonathan London provide literary stepping stones. Intermediate learners might enjoy R.L. Stine’s collection of short fiction Nightmare Hour, which features a little bit of everything – from mystery and ghost fiction to aliens and witchcraft. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein about a terrifying creature that haunts his master or the story of the headless horseman in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are longer works of fiction from the realm of gothic horror that might be suitable for advanced learners of English.

We do hope, that you like our suggestions and would appreciate it, if you would share your suggestions for a Halloween read with us, so we can feature them in our next year’s post.

Have a spooky Halloween with your pupils!

Kind regards and stay safe,


September 30th: Podcast Day

English · 30 September 2020

Happy Podcast Day!

Though our love for books and reading is strong, sometimes listening to a podcast can be just as magical. So in honour of this international holiday, we’ve compiled some of our favourite podcasts for you to explore! True to the concept of our website, we’ll be mentioning English podcasts as well as German ones.

Of course, we can’t go without mentioning the Mathe für Alle podcast, produced at the ZLS at Leipzig University by our collegues Denise Heyder and Franziska Wehlmann! This podcast is dedicated to discussing how to teach math whilst navigating diversity in the classroom. You recieve practical examples of how to take everyone’s thinking patterns into account and discover new mathematical explanations. However, you also learn how to critically evaluate these new approaches based on current research in this field. The illustrations by Susanne Haase add a wonderful touch! You can find Mathe für Alle on Spotify and the ZLS website.

Another wonderful German podcast is Hoaxilla, produced by married couple Alexa and Alexander Waschkau. In this podcast series, the pair discusses conspiracy myths and urban legends, that so often blur reality and fiction. Using a sceptic’s eye, they break down and fit these myths into a sociocultural context and show the importance of looking beyond manipulation to understand society. All of this of course whilst still making you chuckle along the way.

For our English enthusiasts, check out the Anthropocene Reviewed by award-winning author John Green for a humourous commentary on different aspects of human life. He reviews different cultural topics, such as the board game Monopoly, and ‘rates’ them on a five-star scale. Rich in variety and short and sweet in length, you won’t get bored with this one!

For another podcast that talks about anything and everything, listen into Freakanomics Radio. Dating back to 2010, this podcast talks about current politics as well as general topics related to culture and society. Have you ever wondered how to raise a ‘likeable’ kid or about the economics of saving the rainforest? Take a look!

We hope you find something new to enjoy with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee!


September 26th: Rabbit Day

English · 26 September 2020

Happy international Rabbit Day! This day is dedicated to the protection and care of all rabbits, domestic and wild animals alike. Our furry friends can be found all across English literature.

Stories about or featuring rabbits include:

  • Winnie the Pooh: In this classic, the supporting character Rabbit is a loyal, if slightly bossy, friend to the protagonist. Though he needs some time to warm up to strangers, he is equally endearing nonetheless.
  • Listen Buddy: This illustrated children’s book follows the story of adorable Buddy whose large ears don’t work very well, leading to one misunderstanding after another.
  • Watership Down: Sibling rabbits Fiver and Hazel struggle to build a community and find a new home after fleeing from their old one that was destroyed by humans. A wonderful read for anyone interested in a more political take on rabbit warrens.
  • The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit: Little rabbit Peter is more adventurous and mischievous than his siblings… and consequently gets into more trouble!

As you can tell, there is an abundance of rabbits in literature, ranging from adorable and wide-eyed to bossy and adventurous. Have fun exploring!


May 25th: Towel Day

English · 25 May 2020

Dear users,

If you are looking for hints of literature in ‘real life’ outside the boundaries of book covers, you may have come across ‘Towel Day‘ – a wondrous realm and tradition of book lovers: Every May 25, readers all around the globe carry a towl with them in praise of Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1978). It serves as a reminder that reading not only has the power to lift your mood, but also to calm your thoughts. “Don’t panic”, keep calm and read on.