First time doing Book Reports

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by englishteach7, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. englishteach7

    englishteach7 Companion

    Oct 9, 2010
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    Sep 1, 2011

    This is my second year teaching and I need advice on how to set up a book report assignment. I have no idea. I didn't get a chance to do it last year, although I wish I had. Please share some advice as to how I would go about planning and implementing a book report project for my 7th grade Language Arts classes. I teach one group of collaborative (lower level), one group of mid-level students, and two classes of very high-level students. Thanks in advance for your advice.
  3. Teach824

    Teach824 Rookie

    Aug 27, 2011
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    Sep 1, 2011

    I don't like book reports because it is so easy to fool the teacher. I use a double entry journal form that is about three pages long and is divided into six boxes in each side. Students are required to summarize the beginning, middle and end of the book on one side and reflect on what they read on the other side. I have been using this form for three years now and is pretty effective. I admit that some students still do not read the entire book but I feel that at least they read more than if they had to write a book report. I also like the reflecting part because I want my students to know that reading is about having a conversation with the author and thinking about what you read - something that some of my 8th graders do not get.

    They have the entire year to complete 25 of this double entry journals and I don't really read every single thing they write so it is not a hassle to grade.

    You mention the different levels of your classes, a double entry journal is something everyone could do and you could differentiate by deciding long it has to be or everyone could do the same form but select books appropriate for their level.
  4. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

    Dec 23, 2010
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    Sep 4, 2011

    A "book report" is a meaningless exercise, in my opinion.

    Give the students a PURPOSE and an AUDIENCE. The most obvious would be for students to do projects which would help other students to decide if they should read the book. Thus, it's not a "book report," but a "book review," or a "sales brochure" or whatever.

    Give them the option to do a variety of projects which demonstrate that they've read the book AND thought about what they read. (For each type of project, you'll need a clear rubric.)

    The double-entry journal sounds like a reasonable idea.

    For a list of links to resources for "activities for any novel," see (scroll down the page to find free resources).
  5. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

    Dec 28, 2010
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    Sep 4, 2011

    My students do responses to literature, which come with a rubric from our district. Each paragraph must be about something that shows their knowledge of what they read, so for example each paragraph is:

    -introduction-why they chose that book, etc. .
    -how something in the book relates to their life
    -recommendation for other readers
    etc. . .

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