Recurring Lesson

Daily Book Boosts

3 - 5
Lesson Plan Type
Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time
50 minutes; thereafter: 5 minutes daily
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Each day at the end of their independent reading time, students give Book Boosts, one-minute raves about books they've read. Students select a book that they really enjoyed and then give a one-minute talk that generates interest in the book but does not give away the book's ending. Students can boost their books in a variety of ways, including creating alternate book covers, designing posters or flyers, or making promotional bookmarks. Have students take turns giving book boosts with two students giving a Book Boost each class day. These Book Boosts are easy ways to suggest a multitude of titles to students, and they act as a way for students to have something to think about as they read.

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

Book Boosts, as described by Martha Sierra-Perry, provide students with the opportunity to celebrate successful milestones in their literacy explorations by sharing books and ideas with other students, who, in turn, are encouraged in their own explorations. Books become personalized as individual student voices exclaim a book's wonders. As the students listen to one another as readers and explorers, Book Boosts help bond students in the literacy community of the classroom.

Further Reading

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

  • Copies of books being boosted (optional)

  • Stopwatch or timer

  • A favorite books list for the class




  • Demonstrate and practice Book Boosts at the beginning of the year.

  • Set up a favorite books list for the class-a notebook, on chart paper, or on a Web page. Choose the method that will work best for your class.

  • Test the Book Cover Creator on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • apply a range of strategies to evaluate and appreciate the books that they read.

  • match their review of the book to the interests and personalities of their classmates, their audience.

  • establish and maintain a knowledgeable, reflective, and analytical literacy community in the classroom.

  • use spoken language to accomplish their purpose, boosting books that they have read.

Preparing Students for Book Boosts

  1. Explain the guidelines for Book Boosts to the class: each student gives a one-minute recommendation for a book. The one-minute time limit is strictly enforced.

  2. As they choose books to share with Book Boosts, encourage students to follow these basic rules:

    • They have to have read the book.

    • They have to really love the book. (It's a book BOOST, not a book bust)

    • They have to keep the boost to one minute.

    • They must not give away the book's ending.
  3. Explain how students will take turns giving Book Boosts. You might choose students in the order in which they're seated, alphabetically, by a sign-up sheet, or some other method; however, make your method public so that students know when their turn is coming.

  4. If students will use the book review form to record details about their books in the class favorites list, pass out copies of the handout and discuss how to fill out the form.

  5. Share existing short book reviews and related materials with students to provide some models for their work:

    • Show videotaped book reviews from Meet Me at the Corner. Although many of these reviews are longer than the one minute allotted to Book Boosts, students can analyze the pieces and discuss how the readers boost the books that they talk about.

    • As part of the demonstration, you might invite older students from another class, the principal, and other adults to give a Book Boost for a book that they have enjoyed.
  6. Demonstrate additional ways that students can boost their books as part of their one-minute talk:

    • Create an alternative book cover for the book using the Book Cover Creator. Make additional copies and pass them out to others in the class who are interested in the book.

    • Design posters or flyers with construction paper and markers that advertise the book. Post these advertisements in the classroom or school library.

    • Make bookmarks that promote the book, and pass out copies to others in class.

Managing Book Boosts

  1. At the end of the independent reading time, bring the class together and call on the next student who will give a Book Boost.

  2. The chosen student gives a Book Boost, following the guidelines that have been established.

  3. If the student has additional artifacts to share (e.g., bookmarks, a customized book cover, and so forth), help the student pass out or display the work.

  4. Have the student add the book to the class's list or file of favorite books. If desired, students can generate an annotated class favorites list using a book review form, which is placed conspicuously by the classroom library in a three-ring binder and is added to throughout the year.

  5. Repeat these steps with another student, so that two students give a Book Boost each day.


Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Although you may track students’ participation anecdotally or more formally, the Book Boosts themselves don’t usually require assessment. The students’ eagerness to share their enthusiasm for the books they speak about illustrates that the activity’s goals have been met.

  • You might ask students to note their Book Boosts in their journals, literature logs, or reading portfolio and to reflect on the feedback from the classmates.

  • Periodically, the class might evaluate the format of the Book Boosts and establish additional requirements or suggestions (for instance, the Booster should always include the title and the author’s name).

  • If recording equipment is available to you, you might make a video recording of the students Book Boosts early in the year and again at the end of the year. By looking at both, you can assess their growth during the year.

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