Thursday, August 2, 2007

50 Alternatives to a Book Report

I just read a great article from NCTE's "English Journal" it is a pricey subscription but well worth every penny when I can cough up the money for it again. In the mean time- I signed up for NCTE's weekly newsletter via email. The newsletter includes links to current articles in the news that relate to Education and more specifically English Education. At the end of each newsletter are free articles from NCTE's various publications that relate to an article at the very least they have a theme. Each week I make sure to scan them over and download and save articles worth reading again. What is so great is that articles are available from each school age- elementary, middle, high, & college.

So 50 alternatives to a book report as simplified by me-
(Some of the ideas have been combined and listed as
alternatives where appropiate. You'll find 45 numbered
ideas below.)

*Imagine you are a character in the book. Jump into his or her head and tell me what they would think or feel about...
1) imagine their childhood
2) relate them to an astrological sign and prove it
3) what would their favorite superhero be and why
4) imagine they are applying for college- write their application essay
5) calls into a radio show for advice- write the script
6) create a web page for 5 characters (think myspace)
7) your character is in a chat room who are they talking to and what about
8) create an imaginary email directory for this character- explain your reasoning for each person
9) create a high school yearbook for 3-4 characters to include clubs, activities, nicknames, and 'most likely to' _____
10) write a series of letters between character and author (3 or more back and forth)
11) characters dream vacation? create a multiday travel plan and explain your characters reasoning for each step
12) create a scrapbook that your character would have made (variation memory box)
13) create a collage that your character would say represents them
14) 3 students assume the identity of 3 characters- play 20 questions to figure out who is who
15) assume the identity of a character was discriminated against- write a complaint about the discrimination
16) give your character 3 tangible/intangible gifts- provide a picture and explain your reasoning
17) create 5 unique answering machine messages for 5 characters pay attn to voice & diction
18) pretend 3 characters are being interviewed by reporter/police/lawyer create a monologue response to the same event for
each character
19) Look up several character names in a name meaning book/website explain how what the name means is/is not a
reflection of them as a character
20) Pretend your character has picked up the newspaper- select 5 articles your character would read and explain why your
character would read them.
21) Pretend your character has picked up a magazine and is looking at the ads- select 5 ads your character would consider
purchasing the product. Display the ads on a poster and underneath explain why your character would read them.
22) imagine your character is passionate about an 'issue' create a pamphlet about this issue that includes your characters
opinions on the subject
23) imagine you are having a party and can invite 5 people alive/dead/fictional to introduce to your character- why them and
what would you hope the character would learn from the introduction
24) create a family history of one of the main characters- include five memories from five different events (i.e. a family
dinner, birthday, winter holiday, and so on)
25) imagine your are friends with your character and are recommending 5 books to him or her which 5 books/movies and
why
26) pretend the character lives in your neighborhood and needs help dealing with their issue- create a poster on available
help for this issue in your area include brochures, ads, phone #'s, company names, professional business cards and so on
27) imagine your character is applying for a game show called 'the dating game' what would they say about themself and
what would they say about what they want out of a date
28) create a music play list or mix cd of music your character would like and have- be sure to explain each selection
29) create a photo album your character would put together based on specific events and people from the novel
30) Create an alphabet list of sentences based on your characters personality. 'A' is for the adventure Huck discovers on his
journey down the river. 'B' is for...

The last twenty ideas are written from the readers perspective or assume a role that is not a character from the book.

31) Critique the interactions in the novel from the point of view of an organization that might have something to say about it.
EX: Environmental agency, Humane Society for Protection of Animals, and so on.
32) Create a social worker's report. EX: Child Welfare department report on Huck Finn's childhood.
33) A talk show has invited your character; create the title of the show a guest list, and a prepared list of questions for each
guest. Be sure to include which talk show and why they are interested in the character.
34) Thinking of all the movies you have seen select five movies that are in the same genre of this book. Provide summaries
and an explanation of how each movie is like the book.
35) Title Acrostic: Take a large piece of construction paper and write the title of the book down the side of it. For each letter
write a sentence that provides information about the book events and characters.
36) Cartoon Squares: create six cartoon squares that shows a significant event from the novel then under each write a few
sentences that explains the picture.
37) Word Collage: Put the title in the center and then looking through magazines select words, phrases, and sentences in
various prints that illustrate your novel. Think in terms of theme, setting, plot line, and characters. Min 50 cuttings.
38) Music Soundtrack: Divide the novel into logical sections and select a soundtrack for each section, record the music and if
possible do voiceovers that explain why each selection is ideal for that section in the novel.
39) Poetry: write 3 poems in response to the novel. Consider: theme, character, and location
40) Letter to the author: Write a letter to the author or an audience that is concerned with the author be sure to include why
you think they wrote it, what they were trying to get across to the reader, and what you got out of the novel personally.
Then we mail the letter.
41) Word Test: Select 15 words that you think are essential to the understanding of the novel. Explain why you picked the
words and how you would define them in the context of the story.
42) Found Poem: Select a very powerful chapter from the novel and select key words, word phrases, and lines the evoke
strong images and are critical to the chapter events then arrange them in chronological order.
43) You are a psychologist- select five characters from the novel and write an essay about each character's fears in terms of
psychosis and what they want to avoid the most. use examples from the novel to support your findings.
44) Draw a scene: for the artistically talented. Draw a scene from the novel, include characters, and include yourself in the
picture (think what role did you feel like you held as you read that part of the novel). Then include written explanations
for why you drew the scene that way and why you assumed that role or location in the picture.
45) You are a detective and are investigating an event(s) in the novel. What are they investigating? Who do they interview?
What do they find? Write this in a short story format.

Please use the comment feature to add any additional ideas you may have.

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