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Reading the same old, same old in book reports is not much fun for you as a teacher. And, writing the same old kind of book report is not much fun (or much challenge) for the students. What you want is to have an array of ways to give your students opportunities to ‘report’ on the books they read. This article includes 10 different ways to invite the students in your class who are writers (or the ones you are trying to encourage as writers) to report on their books. Each of the ideas is presented in the way that you can present them to students (just as I have).
- Write a letter to the author or the illustrator expressing your feelings about the story. The feelings you express may be positive or negative, but make sure that you express them in a way that the author(or illustrator) will be receptive to your ideas. Begin the first draft of your letter.
- Exchange a series of letters with a pen pal in which books are the main topic of discussion. Print out your ‘letters’ to bring to your teacher when you turn in your assignment.
- Look into your crystal ball. Look for a different ending for the story you read. Now write the new ending.
- Rewrite one section of the book as a play. Next, choose people to play the various parts. Then, direct your play. Be sure to include notes about the characters, the scenery, and so forth when you turn in your assignment.
- Did the ending of the book you read seem like a dead end? If so, write a different and better ending to the story.
- Write a phone conversation between two (or more) of the characters in the book you read. Let us know about what the characters were like by the way you have them talking. Use powerful verbs as one of the ways that you do this.
- Create a full blown instant message conversation about one of the books that you and a friend have both read. If you actually type and send it, then you will have to reproduce it for your teacher. You may also just write it as an imaginary IM conversation.
- Write a series of letters from one character in your book to another character in your book. Keep in mind as you compose these letters that someone else who would read them would be able to get an idea of the story that was told in the book. Be creative and have fun! Start writing down some ideas that you might include in the letters.
- Write a newspaper article about an episode in the story you just read. Decide which section of the newspaper the story belongs in and write it accordingly.
- Rewrite a portion of the book you read – as a mystery. Include clues that would help the reader solve the mystery. Begin writing some of your ideas.
- Write an additional chapter to a book. The chapter you write may be inserted anywhere into the book – before the first chapter, after the last chapter, or anywhere in between. Begin writing some possibilities.
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