Simply writing a book report is fine, but how about elevating that experience into something more engaging?
Funnel your students' enthusiasm for a recently completed novel by assigning them a creative culminating project.
Here are 7 ideas that will keep your kiddos learning and thinking even after the last page of that book is read!
Before I get into it, be sure to download this FREE Culminating Project Choices Student Handout for you to use in your classroom right away! This handout encompasses all the ideas below but in a student-friendly format.
1. Playwright Project
This is perfect for a group project! Have the students choose their favorite scene from the story and re-write it in the form of a play. The students may choose to make a video of their play to show to the class, or they may perform it live.
2. Game On
Students create a board game that is themed around the book. Guide them with certain requirements like: their game must include a board, game pieces, and questions cards with answers. A great idea is to divide the students up into groups and have each group design a game. Then, when everyone has completed their game, rotate the games through the groups, so that each group is playing a different group's game!
3. Be a Journalist!
Students write a newspaper about important events that happen in the book. Look through a real newspaper in preparation for this project, so that you can discuss the unique parts of a newspaper that students might want to incorporate into their project if it applies. Examples include articles, obituaries, comic strips, advertisements, opinion articles, and Wanted ads! Students should also have images, captions, and bylines!
4. Paper Bag Book
Students fill a bag with 7-9 items that represent important parts of the book. They must also design the outside of the bag to include essential parts of the book. For example, you could require them to incorporate the book's title, the author, an illustration, and a book review explaining why they do or do not recommend the book. Then, have the students present the items to the class and explain why each item is important.
5. 3D Characters
Have your students create 3D depictions of the characters from the novel. They might use clay, play-doh, posterboard, yarn, wood, or any other material they choose.
Bonus challenge: To accompany this art activity, have the students choose from the following questions to write about each character:
- How did this character change throughout the story?
- Compare and contrast this character with you.
- What lesson(s) do you think the character learned through the story?
- What can you learn from this character's experience?
- Write about an obstacle that this character faced and how they reacted to it.
- Name a trait that this character has. How does this trait help or harm the character?
6. Dear Diary...
This activity is awesome for digging into point of view, writing in first person, and developing empathy! Have the students write several diary entries from a chosen character's point of view about important events from the book. As an added bonus, teach your students about how to create a book by hand and use that handmade book for your diary!
7. Related Research Project
Have the students research an interesting topic that is related to the story. For example, if you are reading Fantastic Mr. Fox, they could research foxes. Or if you are reading Al Capone Does My Shirts, they could research Alcatraz.
Then, they present their researched information in any way that they choose, like a Power Point presentation, a written report, an informational poster, or an informational brochure!
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And in case you missed it, be sure to download this FREE Culminating Project Choices Student Handout for you to use in your classroom right away! This handout encompasses all the ideas above but in a student-friendly format.