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Lesson Plan

Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology

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Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Schulze

Yankton, South Dakota


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students work in groups to read and discuss a book, keeping track of their feelings and opinions about the book, as well as facts and quotations, as they read. After reading, each group goes through their notes on the book, marking items they want to include in a book review. They look at sample book reviews and discuss the common elements of book reviews. Next, each group works together to write a review of their book and use Web-authoring tools to publish the review onto a Web page. Students then decide which parts of their review they wish to annotate, with each student in the group responsible for one topic. Students research their topics, taking notes. Each student writes about his or her topic, including bibliographic information. The writings are then peer-reviewed by the group, published to the Web, and hyperlinked back to the group's book review.

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The Annotated Book Review Project: This handout for students provides all the necessary details about the annotated book review project.

Student Annotated Book Review Rubric: Use this rubric to assess the book review project, including the graphics and layout, group book review, student research, navigation and links, and  how well students worked together and followed guidelines.

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Patricia Webb suggests that using the Web supports "collaboration" and "opened up engaging discussions about audience, writing, and texts." Dean Rehberger emphasizes the importance of annotation when he states, "We do, after all, read texts as hypertexts. Rarely reading a book from cover to cover, we use tables of contents, indexes, footnotes, and endnotes to make links from passage to passage, text to text, idea to idea. We collect and catalogue information-building bibliographies, resources, and libraries-and then turn around and deploy the information-paraphrases, quotations, and imitations-finding "originality" often in synthesis and syncretism. To this end, in my classes I use the Internet to emphasize these older rhetorical arts to create what I have come to call living texts" (194).

Emphasizing the connection among reading, writing, and Web page design, this lesson combines collaborative, small-group, and individual learning activities using literature circles and group investigations as suggested by Harvey Daniels and Marilyn Bizar.

Further Reading

Webb, Patricia R. 2000. "Changing Writing/Changing Writers: The World Wide Web and Collaborative Inquiry in the Classroom." Weaving a Virtual Web Practical Approaches to New Information Technologies. Urbana, IL: NCTE.


Rehberger, Dean. 2000. " Living Texts on the Web: A Return to the Rhetorical Arts of Annotation and Commonplace." Weaving a Virtual Web: Practical Approaches to New Information Technologies, ed. S. Gruber. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English: 193-206.


Daniels, Harvey and Marilyn Bizar. 1998. Methods That Matter. York, Maine: Stenhouse.

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