Book reports. Students tend to have a love-hate relationship with these simple book summaries. Want to be able to bring in the fun to book reports while also exposing other students to a variety of genres, personal opinions, and recommendations of a variety of novels? I have a fun and engaging way to have students interact with books!
In the past, I have had students complete book reports and I met with them one-on-one to discuss story elements, favorite parts, interesting characters, and opinions of the book chosen. I wanted to intertwine this conversation that I have one-on-one with students and bring it to a larger platform where other students could “sit in” on this discussion.
I formulated an idea to expose students to books that their classmates have read through the process of book talks. Essentially, book talks are exactly how it sounds: students talk about the books they read. No, students don’t have to make elaborate posters and projects or stand up in front of their classmates and give an oral presentation. I wanted book talks to be accessible to my students whenever they wanted to listen or needed a new book recommendation.
I give you- book reviews with a twist! Using the online platform Flipgrid, students type in a special flip code and are able to post an online video of themselves. All videos are stored on specific grids created by the teacher. If you’ve never used Flipgrid before, you have to start now! It is completely free and students love posting videos.
Flipgrid: Login using an email and create your password. Once inside the website, teachers can create new grids, customize who has access to each grid, and create a special flip code. Teachers also have the ability to adjust the video length. Once a video is recorded, students can take a picture and customize their cover photo for their video. This is a huge hit with my students as you can see.
Since my students LOVE using Flipgrid I wanted them to use it more often and in an engaging way. After students read a good fit book, they will complete a short reading response worksheet and turn it in for approval. After approval, we will talk about the book, then complete a short Flipgrid video in which they give a brief summary. This summary includes their favorite parts, opinions, and recommendations. Other students in the class have access to this Flipgrid via the use of a special flip code from the teacher. This way they can listen to and learn from their classmates’ book talks.
Please note, I give limitations on what students can and cannot say in the book reviews on Flipgrid. They only have a minute and a half to record. I want students to give information but not too much where they give away the entire book. I also want students to create a sense of suspense and excitement to encourage others to enjoy the books.
To start the new year, I wanted to provide you with a free resource! Click the link below to get your free fiction, non-fiction, and poetry book reports!