The following is a guest post written by Erika Saunders. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter @rozelialives.
I have never been a fan of the “Book Report”, the traditional listing of characters, settings, and plots. Surely there’s a better way to have students relate to the books they read.
So, when the powers-that-be requested that our students write book reports, I just had to jump in – or rather, I was volunteered. In any event, there I was convinced that therewas something better, another way that would be interesting to 6ththrough 8th graders. And so I began to list all the things I could do after reading a book.
Then, something wonderful happened. I began having all kinds of neat, interesting ideas. The more I thought about it, the more ideas came. And not just ideas butways to approach the ideas: monthly themes and kids’ choice.You could even have students develop their own ideas.
So, here is the list I created as my mind delved deeper and deeper – some I’ve gotten from some really creative teachers – thanks Ian! – others I’ve done with my students.I consider it a work-in-progress and look forward to continually adding to it.
The beauty is that there really are no limits. We just have to allow ourselves to think “outside of the book report”.
- Make a CD/Soundtrack for the movie with an explanation for each song choice
- Create a 30-second movie commercial/trailer podcast
- Make a PowerPoint presentation
- Why this should be a movie
- TV series idea
- Abridged version of the book
- Design a room that a character would have
- Make a new book cover with a “write-up” and short pitch on why this should be the new cover
- Turn the book into a short play
- Create a fan blog
- Design a Movie Poster
- Write a letter to the head of a production company convincing them to make a movie
- Write a letter to the “Fan Club” of the book
- Create an “Interview with the Author”
- Be a Talk Show Host interviewing the author
- Rewrite the story using a new setting
- Tell the story through a different character
- Dress up like the character and retell the story
- Write a summary from that character’s point-of-view
- Be a Costume Designer for the movie version
- Be the Set Designer for the movie version
- Create a Graphic Novel version of the book
- Create your own summary of what you think the sequel should be
- Create a rap/song summary
- Create the TV Show theme song
- Illustrate the book
- Make a documentary
- Be a newscaster reporting the story
- Make an audition video fora part in the movie
- Record a voice-over
- Describe the conflict/problem as a sport’s play
- Create a Jeopardy game based on the book
- Cast the movie/TV show
- Link a real social/societal problem that relates to the story
- Create a theme list and include books that fit into the theme
- Create a photo album based on the book
- Create a magazine based on the book
- Write an advice column for the characters
- Be the author’s editor– change one part to make the book better
- Re-write it as a children’s book
And some more, this time from Carissa:
- Have your students create infographics.
- Create a Twitter account and Tweet on behalf of a character.
- Don’t just create a soundtrack…create a whole playlist!
- Create “which character are you?” quizzes
Photo by Emily Carlin.