Breathe life into independent reading assignments. Provide your students with a list of reading projects and allow them to choose one that fits their interest level and learning style. Every child could choose the same project or every child could create a project like no other. Make a comprehensive project list and let your students get started today.
Newspapers: Provide students with a newspaper template that they can use to create a newspaper for their book. Depending on the book, allow them to include outside history from the time period that is relevant to their story. They can invent interviews with main characters, write up incidences from the book as a news story and include a special interest section. Don’t forget to suggest the inclusion of comics and classified ads.
Pop-up books: Encourage the students to create a pop-up book based on a section from their book. Artistic interpretation can bring a story to life and simplify the plot. Provide students with the art materials they will need to complete the project.
Games: Whether it is a board game, a card game or another type of game, kids love to play them. Using information from the book they are reading, students will create a game, complete with rules and necessary game pieces. Have a game day and let the student’s play each others games.
Puppet show: Teach students how to write a “screen play” based on a book. Students will create puppets, simple or complex, to use when they retell the story. They will need practice time as students will have to recruit others to help them with their productions. If more than one student has read the same book, consider allowing them to work together on the entire project. Again, class time must be given to enjoy the production.
Living library: Ask students to dress in a costume to bring a main character in their book to life. Clear the desks to the side of the room or arrange to use the library, cafeteria or gym. Invite parents, the principals and other interested individuals to come to your room. Each student will have a specified location. They will stand still until someone stops in front of them. The guest will “push” a paper button. The student will become animated and give a retelling of their book, repeat one scene or in some way share the book they have read with the visitor.
A little creativity will help you keep your children on task and enjoying their reading projects. They will look forward to reading class as they plan out and create their projects.