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Journal > English Journal

Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report

by Diana Mitchell

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Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report

Grades 8 – 12
Type Journal
Published January 1998
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English

 

Description  

Offers 50 diverse suggestions intended to offer students new ways to think about a piece of literature, new directions to explore, and ways to respond with greater depth to the books they read.

 

Mitchell, Diana. "Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report." English Journal 87.1 (January 1998): 92-95.

 

Related Resources

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Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Creating Careers for Characters

Students select a job listing for a character in a book they have read, then create a resume and application letter for that character.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Examining Story Elements Using Story Map Comic Strips

Comic frames are traditionally used to illustrate a story in a short, concise format. In this lesson, students use a six-paneled comic strip frame to create a story map, summarizing a book or story that they've read. Each panel retells a particular detail or explains a literary element (such as setting or character) from the story.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Characters in Because of Winn-Dixie: Making Lists of Ten

The list of ten things about Opal's absent mother that her father shares in Because of Winn-Dixie serves as inspiration for students to create their own lists describing literary characters.

 

Grades   5 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Glog That Book!

In this alternative book report, students identify the elements of fiction in books they have read by creating glogs, interactive multimedia posters, and then share their glogs.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games

Students celebrate a novel they have read and get hands-on experience with technical writing by creating a board game based on the novel and writing the instructions for it.

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Getting Acquainted with Farcebook

In this alternative to the traditional book report, students report on their novel choices using Facebook-like pages.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama

In this alternative to the traditional book report, students respond to a play they have read by creating a resume for one of its characters.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: The Elements of Fiction

Students identify the elements of fiction in a book they have read and share summaries of them by writing and illustrating their own mini-book.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards

Students respond to a book they have read by thinking symbolically to create a business card for one of the characters.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

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

Students make bookmarks on computers and share their ideas with other readers at their school, while practicing summarizing, recognizing symbols, and writing reviews—all for an authentic audience.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Hooking a Reader with a Book Cover

Students select a book to read based only on its cover art. After reading the book, they use an interactive tool to create a new cover for it.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Creating a New Book Cover

Students explore book covers of a variety of books then create a new cover for a book they have read.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Writing Resumes for Characters in Historical Fiction

Students write resumes for historical fiction characters. They first explore help wanted ads to see what employers want, and then draft resumes for the characters they’ve chosen.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares

Students must think critically to create comic strips highlighting six important scenes from a book they have read.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: Creating a Childhood for a Character

Students explore familiar literary characters, usually first encountered as adults, but whose childhood stories are only told later. Students then create childhoods for adult characters from books of their choice.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Book Report Alternative: A Character’s Letter to the Editor

Students write a persuasive letter to the editor of a newspaper from a selected fictional character’s perspective, focusing on a specific issue or situation explored in the novel.