+ Alternatives to the “Book Report”

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Teachers might see that traditional book reports are a struggle and that students become bored with them.  Through TeachHub.com I found an article by Jen Dobson with some great ideas for alternative projects.


Create a picture or collage of the book

Students might illustrate a particular scene or event or character in order to give a sense of what the book is about or what they learned.  Let them present their work and explain it.  Designate a bulletin board to display the work.

Create a book jacket

Students might create a book jacket (both the inside and the outside!) to reflect what they feel is most important about the book.  Book jackets have cover art, but they also have summaries and blurbs.

Create life size characters

Based on the book they have read, students might work in groups to create life-size characters , tracing  outlines of each others’ figures onto a large sheet of paper.  Bring the book to life with crayons, markers or any medium that seems appropriate.

Create a comic book

Create a comic strip layout of their book.  Visit BitStrips at  http://www.bitstrips.com   for a free site that will offer ideas.  Students can drag and drop images into comics.  (Ideal for students who don’t draw well but have good ideas.)


Develop oral communication skills and public speaking experience while working on “book report” projects.

Panel discussions

Groups of students might read the same book and then discuss the story, plot and characters before the class.

Present a synopsis

Students can prepare a two-minute synopsis of the book they have read.  They might also create “trailers” using Digital Booktalk to get started.  http://digitalbooktalk.com/

Interview the characters

Have the class all read the same book and then interview the “characters,” asking questions about what happened, how they felt, even what happens next.  Assign a character to each student, or have several students be the same character.

Props and presentations

Students might create props related to the story line.  These might (or might not) fit inside a folder.  Then they can make a presentation of the story, using the props.

Jen Dobson is the author of my source article,  http://www.isnare.com/?aid=559870&ca=Education

Jen would like you to look at one of her favorite online stores for teachers and parents; http://www.mpmschoolsupplies.com

tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021  or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com


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