Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Report Project Idea: Book Brochures

There are numerous, practically infinite, ways to do book reports. But, I would definitely argue that they are very important in the classroom. We want our students to read, and we want them to know that they're accountable to what they read. For me, the absolute back bone of my literacy instruction is the daily read aloud. We read books together all year, as a shared experience, and much of the reading instruction is themed around the book. For example, we just completed our first read aloud this year, The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop (a fantastic choice for 4th or 5th grade read alouds, especially early in the year, HERE is a short post I did many years ago on this book).  So a lot of instruction was themed around the knights of the round table, chivalry, and castles.

But that's somewhat beside the point. At the end of each read aloud, I ask students to produce some sort of a project. One of my favorites is the book brochure. The following images will show how this brochure was assigned (there are so many ways to individualize this that it's ridiculous to even start mentioning some of those ways), and the finished products hanging on the wall.

It's simple, start with a sheet of construction paper, and fold it in thirds to look like a brochure. When you unfold the brochure, you have an inside (the inside of the flaps) and an outside. It's a great project, and students really are starting to understand that I'm asking them to step up to a higher level of quality. This is the first go around, on only the third week of school. So next time around, I'll see a sharp improvement in the quality of their brochures.

This first image shows what I assigned this go around. It includes a short opinion, a comic strip (of their favorite scene), and the students own cover art for the book. On the inside, I asked for a summary (and found out that numerous students had no idea what this was (they were putting their opinion instead of summarizing), which was good information to know and discuss), as well as four major settings, and three major themes (which is our skill for this week). Finally, they had to complete a short character file for two major characters.

This second image is the view of the cover of an exemplary brochure.

This final image shows the inside of that same brochure. 

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