Book Report Essay Ideas For High School

In some classrooms, the mere mention of the phrase “book report” brings groans of dread. Visions of endless writing and tedious presentations feel overwhelming to students. But reading an awesome book and telling others all about it can be one of the great pleasures in life!

Here are 12 inspiring projects that will be sure to get your students excited about their next book report.

1. Watercolor Rainbow

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 would be a copy of the book cover, and each section would contain information such as character names, theme(s), conflict, resolution, etc.

SOURCE: Let’s Explore

2. Pizza Box

Another idea that works well for nonfiction and fiction book reports. Each wedge of the pizza pie tells part of the story.

SOURCE: Education World

3. Book in a Bag

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 in the bag five items that represent something from the book, and present the bag to the class!

SOURCE: Sunday Dispatch

4. File Folder Board

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: Appletastic Learning

 

5. 4D Triorama

Who doesn’t love a multidimensional book report? This image shows a 3D model. Follow the link to the lesson to see how students can glue 4 triangles together to make a 4D model.

SOURCE: Swarthmore Education

6. Clothes Hanger Mobile

This creative project doesn’t require a fancy or expensive supply list. Students just need an ordinary clothes hanger. The body of the hanger is used to identify the book and the cards on the strings dangling below are filled with information like characters, setting, and a summary.

SOURCE: Performing in Education

7. Dodecahedron

Students flip out for this cool ball-shaped book report. SO much information can be covered on the 12 panels. This one allows students to take a deep dive in a creative way.

SOURCE: Educator’s Life

8. Stellated Dodecahedron

This 3D project is a little more complicated than the ball described above, but just imagine the constellation of stars hanging from your classroom ceiling after the students present their report! Instead of simply decorating each panel as shown above, students can write important facts and information on each surface (when it is flat, of course) then construct their story star.

SOURCE: Teach Beside Me

9. Paper Bag Book

This clever book report is made from ordinary paper bags. Stack the paper bags on top of each other, fold 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 glue information on writing or drawing 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.

SOURCE: Relief Teaching Ideas

 

10. Charm Bracelet

From the author of this lesson by Crayola: “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: Crayola

11. Cereal Box TV

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 rolls are turned, the story is told.

SOURCE: The Cheese Thief

12. Trifolds

This website offers templates for 265 editable trifolds that students can use for creatively presenting their book report. You find the template with the right number of sections and make copies. Students cut out the design and cover each section with the required information.

SOURCE: Tangstar Science

How do your students present book reports? Add your creative ideas to the comments below. 

 

Book review writing prompts for high school students

Not that long ago, it seems, we would look to magazine writers and newspaper columnists for book reviews. Today, every online customer is a potential book reviewer. No matter what you’re reading, someone wants to know your opinion.

Ask your high schooler to choose one writing prompt for a one-paragraph book review. Or, combine several prompts for a longer critique. Don’t forget to post the polished review on Amazon, Facebook, or a personal blog!

1. As Clear as Crystal

Explain your opinion of the author’s writing style. Are his arguments clear? Are his directions confusing? In his fiction, does he balance internal character development and external action to keep the story moving? Overall, do the author’s word choice and sentence structure make you want to read more?

2. Like Flowers in Spring

Evaluate the fictional characters. Are their actions consistent with their strengths and weaknesses? Are their speaking habits believable? Provide some examples. Analyze the story’s ending: does it flow naturally from what you’ve learned about these characters?

3. As Old as Time

With hard work and imagination, an author can reveal her distinctive creativity within the limits of classic plot structure. Describe the originality–or the copycat features–of her fictional storyline.

4. As Good as Gold

A work of nonfiction, whether a biography or a cookbook, claims a certain amount of special knowledge. Considering how this book advertised itself in the title and table of contents, did the actual product meet your expectations? Was it accurate and well-researched? Did the facts outweigh the propaganda? Did you find extensive, organized information or only repetitious jargon?

5. Like Water in a Desert

We characterize an author as a harsh critic or a compassionate mentor depending on their tone. Did you find this author to be condemning or inspiring? Give examples. Since you have familiarized yourself with the author’s viewpoint, add a recommendation about which readers will find this book most appealing.

If you enjoyed these book review writing prompts, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for high schoolers.

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