Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Reports

Note: Normally, I do not publish my blog, English Updates, on weekends. However, I publish several other blogs during the week having to do with ideas that are not current, but still useful. On weekends, I will publish samples of these ideas. RayS.

Question: How can teachers make book reports less painful and maybe even enjoyable?

Answer/Quote: “Most students I’ve had loathed book reports even more than tests. This is why I have rethought the whole concept of book reports. I asked myself, why should secondary students do them? What role do book reports play in improving reading and writing? How do they fit in with a disabled reader’s program? What althernatives can be offered that extend a student’s thinking about books? Does book reporting affect a student’s attitude toward reading?”

Three good reasons for using book reports:
> “Book reports teach students how to summarize information, an essential writing/Comprehension skill.

> “Book reports encourage students to reflect on their reading.

> “Book reporting gives students practice in identifying literary devises such as plot, setting and theme.”

 Helping students to write interesting book reports:
> “Always provide a model of a good report as well as a poor one before students begin writing. Have students identify the strengths and weaknesses in each report.

> “Offer students a list of sentence starters to help develop their observations and commentary. Examples: One part I found confusing was…. The author did a particularly great job with…. The most interesting character is…. The message in the story seems to be….

> Show students how to spice up their reports, using quotations, strong verbs, or an attention-grabbing lead.”

Comment: Worth thinking about. RayS.

Title: “The Book Report Battle.” Evelyn Krieger. Journal of Reading (December 1991/January 1992), 340-341.

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