*Six years ago, I was given the title “Kids Ideas for Book Reports” for publication on eHow. The article was originally published on April 23, 2010. The article is no longer published on eHow or anywhere else so I am free to publish it here.
School book reports once consisted of the student handing in a one- to two-page summary of the reading assignment. Watching a movie about the book or purchasing summaries from a bookstore made book reports easy for kids to write without ever actually reading the book. Creative book reports that require detailed or dramatic involvement get kids engaged and help ensure teachers that a student actually read the book.
Choose a favorite character from the book. Draw a life-size shape of a person onto cardboard and cut it out. Dress the cardboard cutout as that character. Add accessories, such as a hat, shoes and jewelry. Add enough detail to accurately represent the character. Write an introduction to the book report that accurately introduces the character and includes details about the character’s significance in the book.
Choose one scene from the book and recreate it. Dress as a TV journalist and develop a news report about the scene and an event from the book that happens there. Have a friend videotape the report. For a live presentation, create the scene on a large three-fold partition. Add small items as props to enhance the presentation. Stand in front of the partition scene and deliver the news report to the viewers.
Act Out a Scene
Ask a few friends to help create a short play and act out a scene from the book. Include all the main characters and the plot summary. Omit the ending or act out several possible endings to generate suspense and encourage classmates to read the book to find out what happens.
Pretend to be a publicist for the book and author. Write a speech about the book to persuade publishers to publish it. Include details about the reasons other students should read the book and what others might learn from reading it. Write the speech as if the book has the best chance of being published by including the most detail. Deliver the speech to classmates and the teacher, who represent possible publishers who will decide the book’s fate.
Create a miniature version of the book. Rewrite the story and illustrate the pages, including the main plot and the characters’ details. Laminate the binding for durability and share it with other classes. Younger students can benefit from reading or hearing stories written by older students. Write several possible endings to the story to generate suspense. Some students may be enticed to read the full-version of the book to discover the true ending.