Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Summary, Symbol, and Analysis in Bookmarks

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Book Report Alternative: Summary, Symbol, and Analysis in Bookmarks

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • write summaries and reviews for a book they have read.

  • identify appropriate symbols that relate to their books.

  • interact with classmates to give and receive feedback.

  • explore how audience and purpose shape their writing.

back to top


Session One

  1. Introduce the writing activity, sharing the project planning sheet, rubric, and example Hobbit and Doom Stone bookmarks.

    • Generally explain that students will be making bookmarks that include four parts: summary, character details, review, and related images. The bookmarks can be given away or traded with other students. One copy can also go to the librarian who can share them with other students at the school.

    • Share one or both of the example bookmarks to explain the assignment to the students, pointing out each of the four parts.

    • Lead students through discussion of the key elements for each part. Sample discussion questions can include the following:

      • What are the important characteristics of a summary? What do these example summaries do well?

      • Why would we want our bookmarks to keep the conclusion of the plot a secret? What does keeping it a secret accomplish?

      • How are characters described? What details make sense for our bookmarks?

      • How does a book review differ from a summary?

      • How might we indicate ranking or recommendations? (e.g., thumbs up/down, 5-star scale)

      • How do the symbols on the bookmark relate to the text? What ideas might you keep in mind as you choose clip art for your own bookmarks?
  2. Once you're satisfied that students understand the assignment, they can begin work with bookmark planning sheet. Students can work individually or in groups on this project.

  3. Encourage students to interact with one another, to share and receive feedback on their plans for bookmarks. Since these bookmarks will be shared in the class as well as in the library, hearing the feedback and comments of other students helps writers refine their bookmarks for their audience.

  4. Students can continue working on the project for homework if desired.

back to top


Session Two

  1. Remind students of the goals and elements included in this project. Answer any questions students have.

  2. To make bookmarks, have your students follow these basic steps, adapting them for the word processor that is available on your computers:

    • Open up a new page in landscape view in their word processing program.

    • Insert a table with 5–6 columns and equal left and right margins to make printing the back of the bookmarks easier.

    • Copy the table and insert it on a second page (this will be the back of the bookmark).

    • Share the example bookmarks again to help students understand the general layout:

      Front of Bookmark
      • the title
      • the author
      • a summary
      • a clip art illustration that is pertinent to the book
      Back of Bookmark
      • a character list with a short description
      • a review of the book that uses stars, thumbs-up, or a similar symbol to rate the book.
      • a summary
      • additional clip art illustrations that are pertinent to the book

    • If students are working with a Microsoft Word Processor, Microsoft's digital clip art collection provides additional graphics they can use. Check the images to ensure that they are appropriate for your students.

    • Remind students to put their names on the bookmark!

  3. Give students time to type, proofread, and print their bookmarks. Remind them to print multiple copies if necessary to share with other students and the library.

  4. While students work, again encourage them to interact with one another, to share and receive feedback on their plans for bookmarks.

  5. After the bookmarks are printed out, you can laminate them or tape them together. Some students may want to add yarn or a tassel. They can also decorate with markers or other classroom supplies.

  6. As students finish, ask them to turn in two bookmarks (one for you and one for the librarian). Encourage students to share and trade their additional bookmarks.

back to top



  • For more formal assessment, use the Rubric for Bookmark Book Reviews which is tied to the key elements included in the planning sheet: summary, review, characters, graphics, and spelling/punctuation/grammar.

  • On the other hand, nothing is as useful as the feedback that they'll receive by sharing their bookmarks with their peers. Informal feedback from students who read the bookmarks and search out the related book are excellent feedback for students.

back to top