Promoting "Best-Sellers": Creating a Culture of Readers

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Students will be able to prepare and present a book talk to persuade their classmates to read the book.

Big Idea

Students present book talks using 4 corners structure.

My Lens

To meet my objective of familiarizing students with popular books and series, in our classroom library, students will design a “Best Sellers” book talk.  The components of the book talk include a poster with the book title and picture,  a five paragraph essay, and an oral reading of an excerpt.  This assigment is the first time students will be writing and presenting their ideas in a 5 paragraph essay form.  It will require them to think about how they can use persuasion to convince their listeners to read their book.  This type of angled essay, persuasion, is a shift in the CCSS in W5.1.

I have multiple reasons for this lesson. First, I want students’ passion for particular books to spread to other students.  Book talks are essential to developing a community of readers in my room. My goal is set the stage that reading is fun and rewarding.  In past years, when I have asked students to led book talks it has been very successful in encouraging other students to read more. 


Second, book talks are a great way to highlight particular series of books that I would like to see more students reading.  In the second week of school, I still have some students who have not found a book or series that is just right for them.  I first learned about book talks through the Teachers’ College Reading workshop trainings and monthly curricular calendars.  In their curriculum, student led book talks are called “Book Buzzes”.  The idea is to get readers buzzing about books.  This year, I am calling the activity “Best Sellers” because at the end of the week my class is talking a walking field trip to our local Barnes and Nobel bookstore. On our field trips we will pay attention to how a bookstore promotes books and series through their displays and signage.  


Third, this activity requires students to present in front of a small group and that is very important for developing student voice and confidence. Book talks will be a 10 minute closing activity of reading workshop for the next 7 days so that every student will get an opportunity to present. I am using the structure ”4 corners”.  There will be a sign-up poster for students to select the day they will present.  4 students will give their book talks in the 4 corners of the room to 1/4 of the class .


7 minutes

"A couple nights ago, I was talking with a friend and they told me about a great new series that I had to read. And that got me thinking about you.  And I thought, WOW what a great idea!  I will make sure that you get to share the books that you have loved to read with each other, too!

First I would like to share with you a rubric I created to help you prepare for your book talk.  Lets now look at the screen and I will tell you about it."

Show rubric on doc camera. 

Today students you are going to see how a book in the book bin will be brought to life through a “Best Sellers” book talk.  Last Friday, I asked a couple students if they would pick a book they have enjoyed reading and share it with you in a particular way.  I am so pleased that they agreed to help me teach you how to share your passion books with each other. Elsa has agreed to go first. She will show you a poster she has made of the book. Next she will tell you three reasons why this a great book to read, and she will end by reading an excerpt.  An excerpt is a small amount of text that you choose from the book.  You want to pick an especially great page to read out loud to your classmates.  Your goal is to persuade others to want to read your “Best Seller” too!

As you are listening to Elsa's book talk be thinking of compliments you would like to give her because at the end of her presentation you will be asked to give compliments.  Also remember any questions you have that you would like to ask because you'll have a chance to ask them, too.


The Student Demo

3 minutes

After explaining the parts of the book talk, a student presented to demonstrate the process. After she finished, I prompted students to give compliments.  Students next had an opportunity to ask questions.  Some of the questions were about the book and some were about the process of preparing for the book talk.  This student did a great job of listing reasons why others should read the book.  She talked a lot about the characters' motivation and how they were determined to get what they wanted in the story. For example she shared how "Determined Charlotte was to save Wilbur.  It was very sweet.

The Link

2 minutes

Say to the students, "Over the next couple nights I want you to work on your "Best Sellers" book talk presentations.  Your presentation will include a poster with a picture and an except, a five paragraph essay that includes and introduction, three reasons why someone should read your book, and a conclusion.  Remember to be convincing!  You will want to persuade readers to choose your book.  And lastly, you will want to plan to read a short section aloud from your book. You may sign up  to give your book talks each morning.  We can have 8 people share each day. cludes and introduction, three reasons why someone should read your book, and a conclusion.  You will present just like Carolina did in the  demo today.  You will only present to 1/4 of the class because 4 of you will share at a time in the 4 corners of the room.