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Ideas Than You'll Ever Use for Book Reports
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- Do a costumed presentation of your book. Dress either as the author
or one of the characters.
- Write a letter from one character to another character.
- Write the first paragraph (or two) for a sequel. Outline what would
happen in the rest of book.
- Write a new conclusion.
- Write a new beginning.
- If a journey was involved, draw a map with explanatory notes of significant
- Make a diorama and explain what it shows.
- Make a diorama showing the setting or a main event from the book.
- Make a new jacket with an original blurb.
- Use e-mail to tell a reading pen pal about the book.
- Participate with three or four classmates in a television talk show
about the book.
- With another student, do a pretend interview with the author or with
one of the characters.
- Cut out magazine pictures to make a collage or a poster illustrating
the idea of the book.
- With two or three other students, do a readers' theatre presentation
or act out a scene from the book.
- Lead a small group discussion with other readers of the same book.
Focus on a specific topic and report your group's conclusion to the
- Keep a reading journal and record your thoughts at the end of each
period of reading.
- Write a book review for a class publication.
- Find a song or a poem that relates to the theme of your book. Explain
- For fun, exaggerate either characteristics or events and write a tabloid-style
news story related to your book.
- Draw a comic-book page complete with bubble-style conversations showing
an incident in your book.
- Use a journalistic style and write a news story about something that
happened to one of the characters.
- Write a paragraph telling about the title. Is it appropriate? Why?
- Decide on an alternate title for the book. Why is it appropriate?
Is it better than the one the book has now? Why or Why not?
- Make a poster advertising your book.
- Make a travel brochure inviting tourists to visit the setting of the
book. What types of activities would there be for them to attend?
- Write a letter to the main character of the book.
- Write a letter to the main character of the book. Write the letter
he or she sends back.
- Make three or more puppets of the characters in the book. Prepare
a short puppet show to tell the story to the class.
- Write a description of one of the main characters. Draw or cut out
a picture to accompany the description.
- Make an ID card which belongs to one of the characters. Be sure to
make the card look like the cards for that particular state. Include
a picture and all information found on and ID card. Don't forget the
signature!! ******This gets them researching what ID cards /Driver's
Licenses look like; as well as thinking about the character--especially
the signature. I have seen kids ask each of the other students to sign
the character's name to find the one that would most likely belong to
- Prepare a list of 15 to 20 questions for use in determining if other
people have read the book carefully.
- Must include some "thought" questions. "How?"
- Dress up as one of the characters and tell the story from a first
person point of view.
- Rewrite the story as a picture book. Use simple vocabulary so that
it may be enjoyed by younger students.
- Write a diary as the main character would write it to explain the
events of the story. Must have at least 5 entries.
- Make a map showing where the story took place.
- Make a dictionary containing 20 or more difficult words from the book.
- Describe the problem or conflict existing for the main character in
the book. Tell how the conflict was or was not resolved.
- Make a mobile showing pictures or symbols of happenings in the book.
- Make a collage representing some event or part of your book.
- Make a crossword puzzle using ideas from a book. Need at least 25
- Choose any topic from your book and write a 1-2 page research report
on it. Include a one paragraph explanation as to how it applies to your
book (not in the paper itself--on your "title page.")
- Design and make the front page of a newspaper from the material in
- Write a song for your story. (extra marks if presented in class)
- Write a poem (or poems) about your story.
- Pretend you are a teacher, preparing to teach your novel to the entire
class. Create 5 journal prompts.
- Make a comic strip of your story.
- Make a display of the time period of your book.
- Make a banner of cloth or paper about your book.
- Create a movie announcement for your book.
- Create a radio ad for your book. Write out the script and tape record
it as it would be presented. Don't forget background music!
- Make a "wanted" poster for one of the characters or objects
in your book. Include the following: (a) a drawing or cut out picture
of the character or object, (b) a physical description of the character
or object, (c) the character's or object's misdeeds (or deeds?), (d)
other information about the character or object which is important,
(e) the reward offered for the capture of the character or object.
- Research and write a 1 page report on the geographical setting of
your story. Include an explanation as to why this setting was important
to the effect of the story.
- Design an advertising campaign to promote the sale of the book you
read. Include each of the following: a poster, a radio or TV commercial,
a magazine or newspaper ad, a bumper sticker, and a button.
- Find the top 10 web sites a character in your book would most frequently
visit. Include 2-3 sentences for each on why your character likes each
of the sites.
- Write a scene that could have happened in the book you read but didn't.
After you have written the scene, explain how it would have changed
the outcome of the book.
- Create a board game based on events and characters in the book you
read. By playing your game, members of the class should learn what happened
in the book. Your game must include the following: a game board, a rule
sheet and clear directions, events and characters from the story.
- Make models of three objects which were important in the book you
read. On a card attached to each model, tell why that object was important
in the book.
- Design a movie poster for the book you read. Cast the major character
in the book with real actors and actresses. Include a scene or dialogue
from the book in the layout of the poster. Remember, it should be PERSUASIVE;
you want people to come see the movie.
- If the book you read involves a number of locations within a country
or geographical area, plot the events of the story on a map. Make sure
the map is large enough for us to read the main events clearly. Attach
a legend to your map. Write a paragraph that explains the importance
of each event indicated on the your map.
- Complete a series of five drawings that show five of the major events
in the plot of the book you read. Write captions for each drawing so
that the illustrations can be understood by someone who did not read
- Make a test for the book you read. Include 10 true-false, 10 multiple
choice, and 10 short essay questions. After writing the test, provide
the answers for your questions.
- Select one character from the book you read who has the qualities
of a heroine or hero. List these qualities and tell why you think they
- Imagine that you are about to make a feature-length film of the novel
you read. You have been instructed to select your cast from members
of your English class. Cast all the major characters in your novel from
your English classmates and tell why you selected each person for a
- Plan a party for the characters in the book you read. In order to
do this, complete each of the following tasks: (a) Design an invitation
to the party which would appeal to all of the characters. (b) Imagine
that you are five of the characters in the book and tell what each would
wear to the party. (c) Tell what food you would serve and why. (d) Tell
what games or entertainment you will provide and why your choices are
appropriate. (e) Tell how three of the characters will act at the party.
(f) What kind of a party is this? (birthday, housewarming, un-birthday,
- List five of the main characters from the book you read. Give three
examples of what each character learned or did not learn in the book.
- Obtain a job application from an employer in our area, and fill out
the application as one of the characters in the book you read might
do. Before you obtain the application, be sure that the job is one for
which a character in your book is qualified. If a resume is required,
- You are a prosecuting attorney putting one of the characters from
the book you read on trial for a crime or misdeed. Prepare your case
on paper, giving all your arguments.
- Do the previous activity, but find a buddy to help you. One of you
becomes the prosecuting attorney; the other is the defense. If you can't
find a buddy, you could try it on your own.
- Make a shoe box diorama of a scene from the book you read. Write a
paragraph explaining the scene and its effect in the book on your title
- Pretend that you are one of the characters in the book you read. Tape
a monologue of that character telling of his or her experiences. Be
sure to write out a script before taping. You could perform this "live"
if you so choose.
- Make a television box show of ten scenes in the order that they occur
in the book you read. Cut a square form the bottom of a box to serve
as a TV screen and make two slits in opposite sides of the box. Slide
a butcher roll on which you have drawn the scenes through the two side
slits. Make a tape to go with your television show. Be sure to write
out a script before taping or performing live.
- Tape an interview with one of the characters in the book you read.
Pretend that this character is being interviewed by a magazine or newspaper
reporter. You may do this project with a partner, but be sure to write
a script before taping. You may choose to do a "live" version
- Write a letter to a friend about the book you read. Explain why you
liked or did not like the book.
- In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield describes a good book
as one that "when you're done reading it, you wish the author that
wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on
the phone whenever you felt like it." Imagine that the author of
the book you read is a terrific friend of yours. Write out an imaginary
telephone conversation between the two of you in which you discuss the
book you read and other things as well.
- Imagine that you have been given the task of conducting a tour of
the town in which the book you read is set. Make a tape describing the
homes of your characters and the places where important events in the
book took place. You may want to use a musical background for your tape.
- Do some research on the hometown of your book's author. You may be
able to find descriptions of his or her home, school, favorite hangouts,
etc. What else is of interest in the town? Imagine that you are conducting
a tour of the town. Make a tape describing the places you show people
on the tour. You may want to use a musical background for your tape.
- Make a list of at least ten proverbs or familiar sayings. Now decide
which characters in the book you read should have followed the suggestions
in the familiar sayings and why.
- Write the copy for a newspaper front page that is devoted entirely
to the book you read. The front page should look as much like a real
newspaper page as possible. The articles on the front page should be
based on events and characters in the book.
- Make a collage that represents major characters and events in the
book you read. Use pictures and words cut from magazines in your collage.
- Make a time line of the major events in the book you read. Be sure
the divisions on the time line reflect the time period in the plot.
Use drawings or magazine cutouts to illustrate events along the time
line. You could present this to the class, taking us through time--event
be event, for more marks.
- Change the setting of the book you read. Tell how this change of setting
would alter events and affect characters.
- Make a paper doll likeness of one of the characters in the book you
read. Design at least threes costumes for this character. Next, write
a paragraph commenting on each outfit; tell what the clothing reflects
about the character, the historical period and events in the book.
- Pick a national issue. Compose a speech to be given on that topic
by one of the major characters in the book you read. Be sure the contents
of the speech reflect the characters personality and beliefs.
- Retell the plot of the book you read as it might appear in a third-grade
reading book. Be sure that the vocabulary you use is appropriate for
that age group. Tape your storytelling.
- Complete each of these eight ideas with material growing out of the
book you read: This book made me wish that..., realize that..., decide
that..., wonder about..., see that..., believe that ..., feel that...,
and hope that...
- After reading a non-fiction book, become a teacher. Prepare a lesson
that will teach something you learned from the book. It could be a "how-to"
lesson or one on content. Plan carefully to present all necessary information
in a logical order. You don't want to confuse your students! Present
your lesson to your students. How did you do? If you taught a "how-to"
lesson, look at the final product to see if your instructions to the
class were clear. If your lesson introduced something new, you might
give a short quiz to see how well you taught the lesson.
- Look through magazines for words and pictures that describe your book.
Use these to create a collage on a bookmark. Make the bookmark available
for others to use as they read the same book.
- Write the title of your book. Decide on some simple word--picture--letter
combinations that will spell out the title "rebus style."
Present it to the class to solve (I will make a transparency or copies
for you.) After they have solved the rebus., invite them to ask questions
about the book.
- After reading a book, design a game, based on that book as its theme.
Will you decide on a board game, card game, concentration? The choices
are only limited to YOUR CREATIVITY! Be sure to include clear directions
and provide everything needed to play.
- Choose an interesting character from your book. Consider the character's
personality, likes and dislikes. Decide on a gift for him or her...
something he or she would really like and use. Design a greeting card
to go along with your gift. In the greeting, explain to your friend
from the book why you selected the gift.
- Design a poster to advertise your book. Be creative...use detail...elaborate...use
color! Can you make it 3-D or movable?
- Make a large poster that could be a cover for that book. Imagine that
you are the book and plan a way to introduce yourself. Make the group
feel they would like to know you better. Organize your best points into
an introduction to present to the class. Be sure to "wear"
- Read the classifieds. Find something a character in your book was
looking for or would like. Cut out the classified. Write a short paragraph
telling why he or she needs/wants the item. Would the one advertised
be a good buy for him or her? Why or Why not?
- Create cutout sketches of each character in your novel. Mount the
sketches on a bulletin board. Include a brief character sketch telling
us about the characters.
- Design a symbol for a novel or a certain character.
- Gather a large collection of current events that reflect incidents
that closely parallel those in your novel.
- Write a letter to the author of your novel and explain how you feel
about the book.
- Prepare and present an oral interpretation to the class.
- Create a poster that could be used as an advertisement.
- Do a five minute book talk.
Do a BAG BOOK REPORT:
using a brown grocery bag, color the front with a picture from the book,
title and author. Fill the bag with a minimum of 10 objects which will be
pulled out one at a time while the student is describing the story to the
class. For example, a small dog statue or picture from a magazine can represent
Lassie. A stuffed animal can be used for Picky-Picky, Ramona Quimby\'s cat
etc. Encourage the students to be imaginative and to not use too many pictures.
Christine M. Alsford
B. Franklin Middle School
Ken-Ton Public Schools
Kenmore, N.Y 14223