BEYOND Book Reports

bored_with_books.jpgBEYOND Book Reports


Alternative book report ideas are frequently twittered and passed around as ideas of "integrating" technology in the curriculum. Skim these ten (10) ideas for whether students are using new mediums to tell ABOUT their books or to engage in thinking and reflecting deeply beyond the facts. 'Cause no matter how you decorate it up or what technology tools are creatively wrap around the task of "doing" a book report - still a book report is a book report is a book report. The intellectual work has not changed in most of these alternative ideas - just new tools used to entice students into doing the same ole work they have always done but with a dash of "playtime." Decorating up a book report as a comic book, podcast or video is STILL a book report telling ABOUT the book facts. An old task that has simply become more expensive and time consuming. Look past the bells and whistles glitz of technology tools to "see" whether the book study task has the rigor and relevance or not.

The Book Report Challenge


As far as I know, authors do not get up in the morning with the thought they had better get another book written so schools have more choices for book reports! Engage students in using literature for thinking, creating, wondering, and relating to an experience or message that authors create for their readers. We want to ask how on fire can we get student brains while making meaning of their literature. Consider shifting the TYPES of Communication expected with book studies along developing driving questions for reasoning/thinking in ways that will increase curiosity, agency and "deep enduring understandings."

TYPES of Communication

    • Summary Reports = Telling ABOUT the Facts
    • Compare and Contrast = Showing Relationships
    • Analyze and Conclude = Reasoning Question
    • Describe and Conclude = Wisdom Learned
    • Public Service Announcement aka Book Trailers = SELLING
    • Docu-Dramas = Fact-based Storytelling AS IF you living in the event, experience or situation


Engagingly HOT Ideas a la Bernajean @SlideShare


Enjoy some slideshare ideas for deeply engaging with books. These ideas were collected from amazingly creative educators as exemplar examples to consider for "heating up" the thinking along with interesting technology tool use to creating new forms of communication! Likely you might imagine putting in even more "H.E.A.T.™" - send me your ideas to add to the growing collection of amazing student work!