Reading about other people and perspectives helps kids learn beyond their own experiences. Students don’t need to dive deeply into every single book they read, but occasionally showing them how to dive in can help them view reading in different ways. Digging into characters (or settings or themes) from the books they read can really help them learn how to look beyond the prose. Here are 22 creative book report ideas designed to make reading more meaningful:
SOURCE: Teacher Thrive
There are so many super creative, open-ended projects you can use mint tins for. This teacher blogger describes the process of creating book reports and using them. There’s even a free template for cards that fit inside.
2. Fictional Yearbook Entries
Ask your students to create a yearbook based on the characters and setting in the book. What do they look like? Cut out magazine pictures to give a good visual image for their school picture. What kind of superlative might they get? Best looking? Class Clown? What clubs would they be in or lead? Did they win any awards? It should be obvious from their small yearbooks whether your students dug deep into the characters in their books. They may also learn that who we are as individuals is reflected in what we choose to do with our lives.
SOURCE: Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom
This project would be perfect for a book tasting in your classroom! Each student presents their book report in the shape of food. See the sandwich and pizza options below and check out this blog for more delicious ideas.
4. Current Events Comparison
Have students locate 3-5 current event articles a character in their book might be interested in. After they’ve found the articles, have them explain why the character would find them interesting and how they relate to the book. Learning about how current events affect time, place, and people is critical to helping develop opinions about what we read and experience in life.
Yum! You’ll notice a lot of our creative book report ideas revolve around food. In this project, each layer of this book report sandwich covers a different element of the book—characters, setting, conflict, etc. A fun adaptation to this project is the book report cheeseburger.
6. Book Alphabet
Choose 15-20 alphabet books to help give your students examples of how they work around themes. Then ask your students to create their own Book Alphabet based on the book they read. What artifacts, vocabulary words, and names reflect the important parts of the book? After they find a word to represent each letter, have them write one sentence that explains where the word fits in.
SOURCE: Runde’s Room
Using cardboard lap books (or small science report boards), students include details about their book’s main characters, plot, setting, conflict, resolution, etc. Then they draw a head and arms on card stock and attach them to the board from behind to make it look like the main character is peeking over the report.
8. Architectural Blueprints
For your visual learner students, they can work on some of these cool lesson and projects to further understand a book where the setting is critical (think Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder). Have kids made a map of the world they’ve read about or create blueprints of the house the characters lived in.
Another fun and creative idea: create a wearable book report with a plain white tee. Come up with your own plan using Sharpie pens and acrylic paint or get step-by-step directions for $5 from Super Teacher Tactics on TPT.
SOURCE: Let’s Explore
This is great for biography research projects. Students cut out a photocopied image of their subject and glue it in the middle. Then, they draw lines from the image to the edges of the paper, like rays of sunshine, and fill in each section with information about the person. As a book report template, the center image could be a copy of the book cover, and each section expands on key information such as character names, theme(s), conflict, resolution, etc.
SOURCE: Education World
Another idea that works well for both nonfiction and fiction book reports. Each wedge of the pizza pie tells part of the story.
SOURCE: Sunday Dispatch
This project really encourages creative thinking. Students read a book and write a summary. Then, they decorate a paper grocery bag with a scene from the book, place five items that represent something from the book inside the bag, and present the bag to the class!
13. Reading Lists for Characters
Ask your students to think about a character in their book. What kinds of books might that character like to read? Take them to the library to choose five books the character might have on their to-be-read list. Have them list the books and explain what each book might mean to the character. Post the to-be-read lists for others to see and choose from—there’s nothing like trying out a book character’s style when developing your own identity.
SOURCE: Appletastic Learning
Also called a lap book, this easy-to-make book report hits on all the major elements of a book study and gives students a chance to show what they know in a colorful way.
SOURCE: Swarthmore Education
Who doesn’t love a multidimensional book report? This image shows a 3-D model but the link provides a lesson to show students how to glue four triangles together to make a 4-D model.
SOURCE: Performing in Education
This creative project doesn’t require a fancy or expensive supply list. Students just need an ordinary clothes hanger, strings, and paper. The body of the hanger is used to identify the book, and the cards on the strings dangling below are filled with key elements of the book, like characters, setting, and a summary.
17. Create a PSA
If a student has read a book about a cause that affects people, animals, or the environment, teach them about Public Service Announcements. Once they understand what a PSA is, have them research the issue or cause that stood out in the book. Then give them a template for a storyboard so they can create their own PSA. Some students might want to take it a step further and create a video based on their storyboard. Consider sharing their storyboard or video with an organization that supports the cause or issue.
SOURCE: Educator’s Life
Creative book report ideas think outside the box. In this case, it’s a ball! SO much information can be covered on the 12 panels and it allows students to take a deep dive in a creative way.
SOURCE: Relief Teaching Ideas
This clever book report is made from ordinary paper bags. Stack the paper bags on top of each other, fold them in half, and staple the closed off ends of the bags together. Students can write, draw, and decorate on the paper bag pages. They can also record information on writing or drawing paper and glue the paper onto the pages. The open ends of the bags can be used as pockets to insert photos, cut-outs, postcards, or other flat items that help them tell their story.
From the author of this lesson: “What a charming way to write a book report! Each illustrated bracelet charm captures a character, an event in the plot, setting, or other detail.”
SOURCE: The Cheese Thief
This book report project is a low-tech version of a television made from a cereal box and two paper towel rolls. Students create the viewing screen cut-out at the top, then insert a scroll of paper with writing and illustrations inside the box. When the cardboard roll is rotated, the story unfolds.
22. Be a Character Therapist
Therapists work to uncover their clients’ fears based on their words and actions. When we read books, we must learn to use a character’s actions and dialogue to infer their fears. Many plots revolve around a character’s fear and the work it takes to overcome that fear. Ask students to identify a character’s fear and find 8-10 scenes that prove this fear exists. Then have them write about ways the character overcame the fear (or didn’t) in the story. What might the character have done differently?
What creative book report ideas did we miss? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.