When I was a kid, I practically lived at the library.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and we had one of those grand, old, stately marble libraries. It was set in a big old city park called Sherman Park with a lagoon and stone bridges and lots of paths to explore.
During the school year, I had to limit my visits to once a week. During the summer, I had the freedom to go anytime I wanted.
I hope your kids know the wonders of the public library. When mine were younger, we were there constantly. As they got older and the pull of their electronic devices increased, they went less often.
While they are younger and immersed in books is a great time to learn to respond to books. What the heck does that mean?
When I was a kid, it was writing book reports. They were dreadfully dull things!
There are so many other ways to respond to a book!
Because some books make you want to sing.
Some books play like a movie in your brain.
Some books lead you to create art.
Why should we limit our kids to one way of responding to reading?
As I explored these options with my own kids, I kept track of them and have collected them all in my latest resource, Book Report Alternatives that Sizzle.
Rather than a bland book report, your child might try one of these ideas:
- Pick a character from the book and write several journal entries that they might have written during the events of the story.
- Write a letter to the main character then write the character’s reply.
- Stories are made up of conflicts and solutions. Choose three conflicts that take place in the story and give the solutions. Is there one that you wish had been handled differently?
- Write an obituary for one of the characters. Be sure to include life-time accomplishments.
- Write a poem about the plot of the book.
- Create a travel brochure for the setting of the story or create some scrapbook pages about key characters.
- Build a shoebox diorama of the setting of the major scene in the book. Construct models of characters, buildings, plants, furniture, etc.
- Create a board game based on events and characters in the book you read. By playing your game, members of the class should learn what happened in the book. Your game must include the following: a game board, a rule sheet and clear directions, events and characters from the story.
Book Report Alternatives that Sizzle has tons of more ideas like these!
Every parent can have fun with these ideas with their child. Imagine working together with your child to make a board game based on the latest young adult novel. You’ll flex your creativity and have some great family time together. If you are a homeschooling parent, you can use these ideas in your Language Arts curriculum.
Check out Book Report Alternatives that Sizzle today!