Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Report Idea: Book Report Sandwiches

My students are learning to love to read. I say learning because like so many other students, they don't see the joy in reading when it's been reduced to worksheets, basal readers, and isolated skill work.
I focus on letting my students read silently every day for 20 minutes, and when I do this, I'm reminded of my all time favorite class, 7th grade Literature with Ms. Gossett. This class was very simple, she had hundreds and hundreds of books available. We were allowed to read anything we wanted as long as it was within a year of our level below or higher. That was the whole class, we read and read and read, and produced book reports in different formats when we were done. That was the class that I actually read a novel for the first time, and I was hooked.

It's just sad that I didn't have that experience until 7th grade, and this was an advanced level course. How many students never get this opportunity?

So, to make a long story short, I ask my students to read and find something they enjoy. Of course, it's important to tie this reading into something tangible, in our case, isolated skills taught within the literary experience.

When my students are done with a book, they must produce a book report of some sort. I recently come across a great format that my entire class is "eating up," and that is the book report sandwich. This gives you the different areas of the report as bread, lettuce, tomatoes, etc., and each different ingredient of the sandwich. As I said, I came across this and can take no credit for it. I found this idea on the website for Mystic Valley Regional Chart School, and you can access this great .pdf file, it is called Sandwich Book Report. The document contains the necessary papers you would copy to make the sandwich, in both color and black and white, a scoring rubric, and some rough draft pages with prompts. It's excellent stuff!

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