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Book Report Alternative

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Keywords: book reviews, video, book report
Subject(s): Podcasting, Writing, Reading, Photography, English/Language Arts, Journalism
Grades 2 through 8
School: Schuyler Middle School, Schuyler, NE
Planned By: Jill Domina
Original Author: Jill Domina, Schuyler
Students choose a book to read independently (the first time we did this, we just used picture books, but any level of book would work!). During or after reading, students complete a graphic organizer including information such as characters, setting, why they liked/disliked the book, and a short summary.

Students use graphic organizer to write a short book review. At this point, we discuss how they want to tell the viewer what the book is about, but not give away the whole story. This might include posing a question to the listener such as "Will the boys win the prize?" or "Do you think the princess marries the prince?" and then they can end by saying something such as "Read this book to find out!"

Students record their book reviews using Garage Band and add background music that matches the mood of the story they read. Students also take pictures of the book (the cover and maybe an illustration) with a digital camera.

Students or the teacher can then put together all of the book reviews using iMovie to create a video full of book reviews.

Book reviews can be as specific as you want them to be. You could do a particular theme (Animal books, Newberry Award winners, etc.) or a particular grade level. The information included in the book review can also be varied.
Materials: Digital Cameras, Microphones, Podcasting, Video Tools