I used to do book talks all the time. And in the beginning, students loved it. But, after awhile, it became a little too routine and I didn’t find it quite as effective as it had been. Now, this could solely be my fault - maybe I didn’t put as much enthusiasm into my talks as I once did, maybe I got into a rut and seemed to recommend the same kind of book over and over. But whatever the reason, I knew I needed to make a change.
I created this form for students to complete about books they’ve read and loved. I leave copies of the form with a bucket of push pins in my book nook for students to complete whenever they have time. The form asks for basic book information such as the title, author, and genre. In the beginning of the year, most students typically will write “fiction” or “non-fiction.” So I work with them to change their answers to a specific genre.
Lastly, students have to answer the prompt, “I think you will like this book because…”. I always create and post a few of these to model detailed answers. I found that when I didn’t do this, students answered the prompt with, “it’s a good book” or “I like it.” Well, I don’t know about you, but that kind of answer doesn’t really inspire me to rush over to the book nook and swipe that book off the shelf! And I tell students this while modeling! I try to get them to write recommendations that really pique others’ interests without spoiling the ending.
Throughout the week, I’ll have students share their recommendations with the class. I also encourage them to share during small groups or stations. Once the board becomes full, I’ll remove the older forms to make room for new posts.