Sunday, March 26, 2017

101 Book Activities Kids Love!

When I was in elementary school, my teachers always gave us the same kinds of book reports to do. They were VERY boring and that's when I decided that when I became a teacher I'd NEVER give those kinds of book reports. 

Typical assignment:  Write a report about the book. Remember to include the main characters and setting as you write the plot. 

WHAT?? UH?? 
I wanted to write a short skit about the book, or a poem, or write lyrics for a song. I did NOT want to write a boring old report without pictures or something creative. 

So, when I was in fifth grade, the first book report was....yes you guessed it! The same boring assignment to explain what the story was about and where it took place. 

What did I do? I drew an original cover for the book. I spent hours cutting pictures from magazines that would tie in with the plot. I laid it all out, and pasted everything on colorful construction paper. To me the bright colors livened up the plot, and was visually appealing.  On the last page, I wrote my opinion of the book and recommended that everyone should read it. 

As my teacher walked around, collecting the book reports, I handed it to her with a huge smile on my face. She took it from me, flipped through it quickly and said


I remember it like it was yesterday. I cringed, slumped down in my seat and mumbled something and thought to myself, I did follow the directions, I just presented it differently. 

Did my teacher understand that there are kids who like to express themselves using art or music? No.

Did my teacher understand that creating a report with hand drawn pictures and presenting it in a colorful way is a lot of work and demonstrates that I'm artistic? No. 

Would she see that I followed her directions? Probably not. 

When I first started teaching, I decided to give my students book report choices. Over the many years I've been teaching I've been collecting ideas and creating new ones. It was a year or so ago I decided to compile them and offer them for free on TeachersPayTeachers. 

Why? Because I want teachers to have this list at their fingertips, so they can offer their students many different ways to report about books. 

Give them a list of two or three to choose from and you'll feel their excitement as they talk about which ones they really, really, really want to do!

photo of 101 Book Activities Kids Love, FREE, PDF, Ruth S. book reports, Ruth S. TeachersPayTeachers

Have fun!



  1. Thank you so much for sharing these. As someone who has been out of the classroom for a while and just returning...this is so helpful!

    1. Hi Irene! I'm so glad you like my book activities! I keep them on the desktop of my computer and sometimes give topics to students who finish their work early.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi Ruth,
    My heart went out to that child of yesteryear as I read your blog post.
    I too LOVE being creative and cringe at the thought of anyone, especially a teacher, squelching that.
    In retrospect, it was probably a good thing that this happened, as it seems to have acted as a catalyst for you being a wonderful and caring teacher, that I'm sure you are.
    And what a delight that you dreamed up 101 fun activities to forever end any idea of a boring book report.
    Thanks for sharing AND for caring.

    1. Hi Diane, So sorry it took me this long to reply to your comment. I've had some problems replying on my blog. I think it should be working now! I really appreciate your comment about my students from yesteryear and very happy my 101 activities will come in handy! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow I've just stumbled across your blog from a post on the Classroom Freebies site... I love this! Thank you so much. We've got book week coming up in a week and a half and some teachers wanted me to organise some "book reports" from the senior students- I was procrastinating because I thought it was kind of lame... now I can go home and scour this for different (much more awesome) ideas.

    From your latest follower :)

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

    1. Hi Serena! So sorry I'm late replying to your comment! I've had problems with replying to comments on my blog, but hopefully it's all fixed now! I'm so glad my book list helped you! Thanks for letting me know you saw this on Classroom Freebies :)