Sixth graders have years of experience writing book reports. The norm for book reports is the written report that requires specific material. Pull out the stops and make this year’s reports fun for your sixth grade students.
Video presentations can have many forms. Simple reports can involve the students videoing each other in front of the digital movie camera as they tell the story of their book. Video reports can be enhanced by dressing up as a character, creating and acting out a skit based on the book, or creating their own Reading Rainbow-type report where a part of the book is read but the reader stops on an exciting, or cliff-hanger, section and the listeners are urged to read the book.
Another form of video presentation is stop-motion video. With three tools, a camera, a computer and stop motion software, students can create masterpieces for their book reports. The students take a series of pictures using clay animation. They moved the pieces a little at a time and take pictures as the pieces progress across the page. They are put together with a sound-track, writing or whatever else they find necessary to tell the tale. If you are unsure what it would look like, check out the videos by actual sixth-graders show on this school website.
Allow students to create a representation of their books using various mediums. Dioramas depicting book scenes, statues of book characters, buildings or other meaningful items that can be made are excellent ways for them to show what they book was about and how well they understood it. For example, a student who read the book, “The Face on the Milk Carton” by Caroline B. Cooney, might make a milk carton or cover a carton and recreate elements from the book on the carton or students reading “The Shakespeare Stealer” by Gary Blackwood could create the Globe Theatre.
Wordles are a fun, unique way to describe a book. The wordles can be created on a computer or made up by hand. They are word pictures created from the main words that describe the book. They can include story, plot, characters and setting. Take a peek at these wordles that were created for middle school-level books.
Finally, allow students to use the computers to create a fun book report using PowerPoint or a similar program. They can include graphics, words, music or other sounds to retell the story. This is simple and basic, yet it excites the student-creator because they know they will get to share their presentations with the rest of the class.
Climb out of the box. Let your sixth grade students enjoy a new style of book report this year.