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Book Reports for a Modern Student

posted Oct 4, 2014, 9:31 PM by Cori Frede   [ updated Oct 8, 2014, 4:58 AM ]
Book reports. A common assignment in the classroom, but often students get bored doing the same thing every time. Perhaps you've switched it up with a different project each month, but students still find them to be a frustrating task.  I thought today we could look at different ideas that incorporate technology into the old fashion book report.

Twitter-ize It
Want to speak the same language as your students? Hashtags and 140 characters is the way to go. Twitter is a great way to teach summarizing because students can't write more than a sentence or two. Use a custom hashtag to allow your class to communicate with each other and try to start a trend.

Google+ Community
Prior to assigning a class book, you can create a Google+ Community for your class. Assignments can include posting quotes for students to analyze, responding to classmates comments, and much more. Students will be engaged when they are responding to each other instead of the teacher. You will be able to see everything they post and get inside their heads.

Book Broadcasts
Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, so help your students practice. Allow students to record book reviews as if they were reporting from a Hollywood premiere. These book reviews can be posted on YouTube for your students to share with other classes or students around the world.

Work with teachers from other classes and/or schools to create reading circles with high interest material. The students from different schools will then use Hangouts to host a reading circle and discuss their book. Use Hangouts on Air to record their reading groups for monitoring purposes. These recordings will be saved on YouTube but can be set to private.

Common Core Standards
This lesson can be adapted for many grade levels based on the complexity of your assignments. This assignment can fit and be used with a variety of standards. This is just a small sampling of the Common Core 8th Grade standards for reference purposes.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.C Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.3 Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

Work Cited
  1. English Language Arts Standards. (n.d.). Common Core State Standards Initiative. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/