As routine and antiquated as book reports might seem, they’re still valuable assignments to assess reading comprehension, writing skills and even critical thinking. And with new digital tools for the classroom, there are ways to make book reports exciting and new again. Here’s how:
Video Book Reports
While writing skills are extremely important, encourage higher engagement by allowing students to do a portion of their book reports using video. Although video book reports will not allow you to measure writing skills specifically, you can still assess comprehension, creativity and organization.
Audio Book Reports
Imagine completely removing the visual aspect of a book report, prohibiting images or illustrations. Students would only have their words to convey their thoughts. Incorporating audio book reports can push students to their creative limits and encourage them to think outside the box.
Blog-Style Book Reports
If you aren’t quite ready to let go of the written component of book reports, try blog-style book reports. Blogging is a unique way for students to report on their reading. Instead of students waiting until the very end of their book, with a blog they can write weekly posts about how the text develops. Then once they finish, they can write a book review on their blog.
Website Book Report
Another way to keep writing at the core is to have students build websites in place of a book report. Depending on the grade level, you can require students to build their websites from scratch or you can use a content management system so coding doesn’t become a barrier. The website can incorporate images, videos and other digital elements.
Book reports don’t have to be things of the past. They just need a refresher to bring them back to life. Adding a few digital elements can bring more excitement to both reading and writing. Even teachers can have a more enjoyable experience when students incorporate technology into their book reports.