If you are struggling to get students to read, enlist the help of your learners! After all, who is better to choose the just-right book for an imaginative first grader than another imaginative first grader.
Crafting reviews of books that share an opinion about a book, not only builds comprehension and argument writing skills, but can also help you connect students to books they love. Today's literacy standards expect even our youngest learners to express their opinion and support with reasons and examples.
Have your emerging writers use a virtual sentence-strip for a less intimidating and familiar approach to writing. Creating an illustration not only engages artistic-minded students, but provides you a context to determine the meaning of inventive spelling. After all, it's the process, not the product that is important.
Search "review" in Wixie for a range of templates you can assign to guide student work. When reviews are complete, print and share or export them as PDFs to share with a wider audience. You can even send to classmates learning at home to help them find the next book they would like to read.
Here are six ideas for a more creative approach to book review products and performances.
1. OREO-style reviews
A more visual and structured OREO organizer can help primary learners develop their ideas; stating an Opinion, share a Reason, provide an Example to support the reason, and restate the Opinion.
The simple sentences organized in this fun format are great stand-alone reviews that are both easy to create and easy to read.
Search "OREO" in Wixie to find and assign a book review version of this organizer.
2. Take a 3D approach with a book review cube
Combine reading, writing, and making by having students craft their review on the sides of a cube. Print student work on card stock. Then cut out, fold, and glue for review blocks you can share in your classroom or library-media center.
Search "cube" in Wixie to find and assign a blank or book review version of a printable 3D cube.
3. Write a friendly letter or email
Have students write a friendly letter or an email to recommend a book to a friend. Be sure to have students name the title and author, explain a bit about the story and explain why this is an enjoyable book to read.
Search "email" at your Wixie home page for a template you can assign.
4. Create an advertisement
Create an advertisement for a newspaper or magazine with information and visuals that convince others to read the book. What would make someone want to read it? What reactions did other readers have to this book? How can you retell the story just enough to engage a new reader?
Search "headline" at your Wixie home page for an article-style template you can assign. Students can also begin a New blank file in landscape or portrait orientation.
5. Design a new book jacket
While the cover may entice a potential reader to pick up a new book, the summary and quotes from reviews normally found on the book jacket are often what convinces them to actually read the story.
Search "jacket" at your Wixie home page for a template you can assign.
6. Develop a book trailer
Ask students to help you promote reading with a movie-style book trailer. Instead of detailing what happens in the book, a book trailer shares information about characters and events in a story in a way that entices someone to read it.
There are so many right ways to express and support an opinion; you simply need to choose the type that matches the level and interest of your learners.