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    book reports
    By tia

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    chris, years ago i decided that one of my goals in reading was to get kids to expand their reading horizons and read books in genres other than those in their "comfort zone".

    each month we focus on a different genre.
    i talk about the genre and build it up--even my least favorite, ugh, historical fiction.

    my read aloud book is from this genre, the stories or novel we read that month is from the genre, and so is the book of their choosing for their book report.

    my book reports change from time to time--like this year, i want to change one to a powerpoint presentation...

    but here follows the usual:

    1. auto/biography--students become the person they read about (with costume and props) and present their lives (i've heard of teachers who have a wax museum--students stand there in costume--visitors are invited, and when they press some button, the kids recites his/her info.)

    2. non-fiction--students demonstrate (with a large prop--poster, replica...) to the class what they learned about the subject--man, i've learned a lot of things from them!

    3. classic or award winner--the traditional 4 paragraph report 1P=plot 2P=interesting character 3P=interesting part of book 4P=

    4. mystery (my favorite! 1 excellent mystery for 6th graders is the westing game--i like to read the treasure of alpheus winterborn at the same time--great compare/contrast books!!!)
    anyway, here i have students write me a letter from a character in the book (doesn't have to be the detective--could be the bad guy or a "flat" character). the letter has 3 paragraphs: description of self, what the mystery is, and how it is solved.

    5.humor create a diorama of the funniest scene in the book and place a 3x5 card on top explaining it

    6. fantasy/sci-fi create a mobile--with four parts--each part has an illustration and a description of something from the book that is "fantastical"

    7. historical fiction (did i say yuk?)
    i have them create a new cover for the book--front is illustration, title, and author
    front inside is a paragraph summary
    back inside is an explanation of what makes the book hs. fctn.
    back is opinion

    8.adventure poster with illustration showing an adventurous part--lots of description and adjectives--like a movie poster

    9. realistic fiction--create a 3-D poster with stuff they find around the school and house
    representations of character, plot, mood, setting must be present--and explanations for each thing must be on the back

    i ALWAYS show them what i expect. i do book reports too so they can SEE what i'm talking about and compare their effort to how much effort i put into my book reports.

    my classroom library is organized by genre, and the books all have a genre sticker on them to make it easier for them. at the beginning of the month, i share and book talk with them some of my recommends for that genre.

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