Book Report Choices – An Excellent Way to Motivate Students to Read and Write

In my teaching practice, I am always looking for ways to motivate my students to read. I try to ensure that  students actively think about what they have read and that they are able to report about it orally and in writing.

Unfortunately, I have experienced that writing book reports proves to be challenging for a lot of English language learners and especially for beginning language learners with very limited reading and writing skills. In addition, most of my ESL classes have been multi-leveled and I had to provide students with books of different levels of difficulty, which can be tricky.

In the past, a colleague forwarded me a list of book report choices. I chose twenty different books that I found suitable for the grade level and I gave my students a choice as to what book they want to read and how they want to report on it.

The great benefit of the book report choices is that students can choose a genre/text type that they are comfortable with. In addition, they are asked to illustrate, sketch, draw diagrams and maps, and most importantly, to use their own creativity to complete the task.

Most of my students embraced the task with a lot of enthusiasm. They sat down and produced reports of excellent quality. The fact that they could choose a book (level of difficulty as well as topic) and also choose how to report about it made a big difference. Everyone found a choice that they felt comfortable with. And the results exceeded my expectations.

What I like the most about this activity is that students practice their reading comprehension as well as writing skills at the same time!
Here is the list of the choices that I have selected for ELLs over the years:
  • Write a different ending to the story.
  • Write a letter to a character in your story.
  • Write a letter to the author of your story.
  • Make a time line of all the events in the book.
  • Send a postcard from one of the characters.  Draw a picture on one side; write the message on the other.
  • Plan a party for one or all of the characters.
  • Make a chart of 10 interesting words from the book.  Write the definitions and use the words in sentences.
  • Make a bookmark for the book, drawing a character on the front, giving a brief summary of the book on the back.  Make sure you have the author and the title.
  • Interview a character from you book.  Write at least 10 questions that will give the character the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts and feelings about his/her role in the story.  However you choose to present the interview is up to you.
  •  Make a map of where the events in the book take place.

Reference: Elisabeth Hines

Below you can find you can find some examples from my class!
IMG_0484

Book Report Wall

IMG_0485

Letter

IMG_0487

Postcard from a Character to a Student

IMG_0488

Postcard from a Character to a Student

IMG_0489

Bookmark – Front Side

IMG_0490

Bookmark – Back Side

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: