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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Book in a bag

Shop a story by selecting items that best represent it and gathering them together in a homemade book bag.

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You’ll need

  • Sticky tape
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • A3 paper
  • Scrap card (optional)
  • An assortment of objects or items related to your chosen book (see instructions for more details)

To watch in full screen, double click the video


Read and review

  1. Choose a book you've enjoyed reading. It could be one of the six you’ve read to earn this badge, something you studied at school or your favourite story.
  2. Decorate a sheet of A3 paper with drawings or doodles that describe your chosen story. This could be people, animals, items, clothing or locations that feature in the book. 
  1. Select five items that feature in, or represent, your chosen book. You don’t have to give these items away, so you can use your own possessions or things you've found at home or school. Make sure to check with a parent, guardian or teacher before borrowing anything. To help you pick your items, you might want to consider:
    • objects or equipment used by the main character(s)
    • items that represent key events
    • things that symbolise how characters feel about themselves
    • things that symbolise how characters feel about other people
    • items that could demonstrate important themes

Build your bags

  1. Turn your sheet of A3 paper over so that the blank, undecorated side is facing upwards.
  2. Fold the short edges inwards, so that they overlap slightly.
  3. Secure in place with tape.
  4. Fold up the bottom end of the paper.
  5. Open up this bottom flap, so that the inside of the paper is revealed. Fold the left and right edges in, and then the top and bottom edges.
  6. Secure it with tape. You could also stick a strip of scrap card over the folds to make it sturdier.
  7. Slip your items into the open top of the bag. You can also seal this with tape if you’d like.

Alternatively, follow a video tutorial – such as this one.

Share your stories

  1. Get into pairs, and take it in turns to talk your partner through your book cover and the items you've chosen to fill your bag with.
  2. Give a review of your book by sharing your favourite parts, the characters you think you're most similar to and the ones you feel you're most different from, and how you felt at different moments in the story.
  3. Book reviews can be written, shown or described, so use whichever method you're most comfortable with when sharing your book in a bag.


As you create your book bag, and while you share it with someone else, think about characters and events in the story that you could identify with. Were there any challenges faced by characters that you've had to deal with, or were their problems ones you've never experienced? What would you have done if you were in those situations, and who would you ask for help?

How did it feel to share your book with others and listen to their recommendations? (This will help you to understand that everyone enjoys different things about books and has different experiences.)


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Try making book bags specific to two or more characters, and explore the similarities and differences between items that best represent them and their journey.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Take it in turns to show your book bag to your whole section or a small group. See how many items you have to remove from your bag before your friends are able to guess the correct book you've reviewed.