￼Guest post by Kim Miller from A Love of Teaching
It’s the perfect week to get in some last minute writing activities. Halloween is coming up next week, and today I have the perfect writing assignment that will “spice” up any book review! You probably have that one lesson you teach every year at this time. For me, we always write book reviews on our favorite books and display them in the hall for others to see. It is our hope, as a classroom, that we inspire other students to read one (or more) of our favorite books.
Perfect for Opinion Writing:
I call this writing activity “Wrapped Up in a Good Book” and you can download it for free from my store. In this lesson, we discuss opinion writing – also referred to as argumentative writing for upper grades. I always teach the traits of opinion writing such as…
- focusing on the reasons – why or why not
- giving reasons and evidence to support your opinions
- using opinion starters and phrases, etc…
Students choose their favorite book and either check it out from the school library, classroom library or bring it from home. Then, they fill out a brief book review sheet.
This is also a great time to review fiction vs. non-fiction and the many different genres of writing. I also show students how some of their chosen books fit into more than one genre category.
After that, students use the book review form to write a summary and review of their book. This form includes the same types of questions asked on the book review sheet, so students basically just fill in the blanks (using their *best* handwriting).
How to Print the Book Review:
1. Print the book covers as wallet size (2 x 3 images)
2. Back the book review with colored construction paper. Students give their book a star rating by coloring in 1 to 5 stars (with 5 being the best).
An Electronic Version!:
This year I tried something new. I created an editable book review form so that students could type their book review. This editable version is not included in the free download in my store, BUT you can download it for free here! Aren’t you glad you stopped by? 🙂
to download the free editable template.
I wasn’t sure how well the editable version would work, but I was definitely pleased with the results! Students did an excellent job typing their book review and were very proud of their end result.
Hopefully, you can spice up book reviews in your classroom by incorporating this short seasonal writing activity into your October lesson plans. You will need to download the entire product from my store here
. If you want to use the editable version also – click here