Back in the day, when I was in elementary and middle school, we read dozens of books each year. I loved that. But back in those same days, my teachers assigned book reports. I hated that. To this day, I still feel a twinge of angst whenever I recall the hours I spent staring at a blank page, trying to come up with pages of important things to say about the book I’d just read.
Let’s fast forward to the Thorpe family homeschool. All three of my children love to read and they also enjoy discussing and sharing information about the books they read. However, when it’s time for them to explore a book’s settings, themes, characters, symbols, and plot, I don’t want them to use the old school book report format I dreaded so much.
Here in our homeschool, I prefer to use fun and engaging book projects that will give my girls the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge while exercising their creativity. Consequently, I step outside the book report box and offer my children creative, yet comprehensive post-reading activities. Check out these three fun and fabulous book report alternatives.
Create a board game. Have your kids show what they know by creating a card or board game about the book they’ve just read. Have your child give their game a catchy title based upon the book, design a unique board with detours and pit stops, and create game cards that require comprehension and recall.
Design a movie poster. Kids love movies! Grab a large piece of posterboard and have your child create a movie poster based upon the book they’ve read. Our posters included a starred rating, at least two quotations from the book, a tagline, and of course an illustrated a scene from the book. I added a writing component by having the girls describe who they would cast in their movie.
Make an Awards Board. Have your child select several notable book characters and have him create an award to present to each character. Awards should be based upon what happens in the book and may include awards such as Most Courageous, Most Creative, Best Leader, etc.
Next, have your child write a paragraph for each award winner. He should clearly explain why the character deserves such an honor. Add an artistic element to the project by asking your child to create character photos to mount on a large sheet of posterboard or on a tri-fold project board. Be sure to mount the paragraphs as well. For additional fun, host an awards reception with food and speeches.
When it comes to sharing knowledge about books, homeschool moms have the ability to choose exciting ways for their children to do so. Tap into your child’s creative side and take book reporting to a new level by using one of these artistic ideas.