The benefits of reading cannot be overstated. Reading leads to increased empathy, a robust vocabulary, stronger problem-solving skills, and better emotional intelligence. Reading is even correlated with success later in life.
For middle-school students, strong reading skills are critical. Not only does reading help them succeed in English class, but literacy skills become increasingly important as history, geography, and science introduce more complex ideas.
One way to ensure that your middle-school students read and comprehend literature is by assigning them book reports, but say the words “book reports,” and you’ll probably have a class staring at you, looking less than thrilled. At Adaptively, we constantly seek ways to equip educators to engage their students. So, we’ve put together some creative book-report ideas to encourage your students to tackle their assigned reading and book reports eagerly and excitedly!
Check out These 11 Creative Book-Report Ideas for Middle Schoolers:
1. Create a Diary for One of the Characters
Have your students choose a character from the book and write diary entries from that character’s perspective. Emphasize that they should focus on this character’s point of view. What does this character feel throughout the book? How do they react to the main character’s behaviors? Do they see things differently than other characters?
2. Draw a Map
If your student is reading a book that involves a lot of travel, have them draw a map. Whether the location is real or imaginary, plotting and labeling the most significant sites will be a good exercise in reading comprehension. Then, on the back of the map, the student can write descriptions of the mapped settings.
3. Interview the Character
Have the student write out an interview with one of the characters. They can write the questions like a reporter and then answer them as the character.
4. Dress up as the Character
Students can dress up as their favorite book characters with this fun take on book reports. Then, have the other students ask each “character” questions. The class can create a good mix of plot-related questions (“What did you do to overcome that challenge?”) and fun questions (“If you were living today, what would your favorite movie be?”).
5. Create a Comic Book or Graphic Novel
Do you have any artistic students? Have them choose a scene from the novel and create a comic-book version. They can draw pictures and include relevant dialogue in word bubbles.
6. Write a Letter to a Friend
Instead of writing a standard book report, have your students write a letter recommending their book to a friend. The letter should include information about the plot and characters. It should also include reasons why the friend would like the book (“You like scary stories,” or “It was so funny, I couldn’t put it down.”).
7. Write a Poem
Have your students write a poem about their book. You can also ask your students to write their poetry in the style of a famous poet like Shakespeare or E. E. Cummings.
8. Book in a Box
Let your students decorate the inside of a box with representational items or pictures from their books. You can display their dioramas around the classroom.
9. Create a Yearbook
With this idea, a student can create a two-page yearbook of characters from the story. First, the student can draw pictures of the characters or cut out pictures from magazines, even casting celebrities as the characters. Then, below the photos, they can write the characters’ names and a brief character description and assign each one a superlative.
10. Rewrite the Ending
This book-report idea allows students to use flexible thinking to explore optional ideas. Students can offer another way the book could have ended and discuss if the change would affect the story’s tone or overall message.
11. Write a Sequel
Students can compose a short sequel to the book. How much time has passed? What are the characters doing now? What has changed since the end of the book?
There you have it—11 creative book-report ideas for middle schoolers that will spur your students to enjoy reading.
Are you looking for more ways to supercharge your school’s classrooms? Adaptively’s enrichment programs and game-based learning strategies will keep your students engaged and learning throughout the school year and over the summer months. Contact us today to see how we can help improve your school’s learning outcomes.