Writing a Simple Book Report With Your Listening Center

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SWBAT describe and write about the characters and events in a story.

Big Idea

You probably have a listening center in your room. This lesson shows your students how to describe the characters and setting in a story after they've listened to the story on tape.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

Having the listening center in my room is one of my favorite centers to provide my students.  I would always collect my Scholastic Book points to buy my listening centers.  It really makes me happy when I look over and the children are oblivious to the fact that I can hear them chuckling and commenting to themselves on the story.  

You can really address the Common Core standards with your listening center. Today's lesson is about teaching the students how to use the listening center independently.  After listening to a story on tape, they will complete a simple book report to demonstrate their understanding of the key details in the story.  This addresses standard RL1.1.

I have a video here Listening Center Set Up that explains how I set up my listening center.  Even students who can't read at the beginning of the year will know how to work the center independently.  For today's lesson you will need two stories on tape and you will need to make enough copies of the book reports My Book Report for each student in your class.

Modeling/Guided Practice

15 minutes

I called my students to the carpet and said, "We are going to listen to a story together and I will show you how to fill out a book report."  I took out the headphones so we could all listen to the story.  I used the story "Cows Can't Fly" by David Milgrim. You of course should use whatever books and tapes you have.

After finishing the book I taped a book report on the wall and  said, "Now you're going to help me fill out the book report. You will write the title of the story on this line.  All you have to do is copy the title from the front of the book. Who can come and show me where to find the title on the front cover."  After a student showed me, I wrote that on the board. 

I said, "This next section is where you get to pick a favorite part of the story.  I want to draw an event.  An event is something that happens in the story. Who can tell me some events from the story?  When you draw your picture you need to put in lots of details and you are not allowed to draw stick figures."  I modeled drawing people using plane shapes such as circles and rectangles.  I also put in details such as clouds, houses, flowers, grass, and fences.  I said, "Do you see all these details?  It really shows my favorite part of how the cows flew over the town."

Then it was time for me to model the written part.  I have a stem at the bottom of the page that says "My favorite part of the story is ___________.   I said, "When I write my favorite part, it needs to match what I've drawn and include all the details from the text that I can.  I drew my favorite part of the cows flying over the town. It says here, "My favorite part of the story is ..." and so I will write, "when the cows were flying over the town."

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Once the students saw how to fill out the book report I said, "Now it's your turn. We are going to listen to "Franklin's Baby Sister" by Paulette Bourgeois. I will hold the book up and show you the illustrations while we listen to the story.  After we listen to the story, you will get to complete your own book report."

I showed the students where they would find the book reports when we actually started centers.  Then we listened to the story on tape and then I sent the students back to their seats to work on their book reports.  I had 4 copies of the book, so students were able to take the book and copy the title and look through the story to see what they wanted to write about.  When students were finished I showed them where they had to put their papers so I could grade them.


5 minutes

I wanted to remind students what they should do when they come to the listening center during our small group reading time.  I wanted to ensure that students were independent by reviewing the procedure. I said, "What do you do first when you come to the listening center? Then what do you do? When you are done listening to the story what button do you press on the tape player? Where do you find the book reports? Where do book reports go when you are finished?" Students will now know our routine and procedures for the listening center when we are ready to start our small group reading and center rotation in future lessons.