How to Use Book Talks

I love to read and I love helping to teach children a love of reading. I've found that just putting a good book in a student's hands is not always enough for all kids.  Some kids need a little more encouragement to pick up a good book and book talks are a great way to help kids find a book they will love to read!

Book talks are an engaging way to get students talking about and sharing the books that they love. A book talk is like a book report but even better.  A book talk is like an infomercial created and presented by someone who read the book.  

I assign one book talk during the first quarter of school to give students more time to create and present their book talks.  I assign a monthly book talk after each student has successfully created and presented their first one.

I send my students a copy of a Google Slides template to create their book talk presentations.  The template provides them with a checklist of all of the elements I want them to include and slides that prompt them to add each element.  Students provide information about the book, the title, genre or topic, and author. 

 For a fiction book, students are asked to describe the plot (without giving away any spoilers!), the characters, the setting, information about the author, and they are asked to find related images to include.   

The template is similar for a nonfiction book.  Instead of plot, setting, or characters, students explain the facts and events in the book that they have read. 

Finally, students "sell" their book and talk about why others should read this book.  When students present their book talk to the class, I allow time for students to ask the presenter questions about the book.  It's also nice to have the student book talk books on display in the classroom or even the school library.  

For remote or distance learning, I still assigned a book talk. Instead of students presenting to the class in the classroom, students shared their screens with their classmates via a videoconference meeting on Zoom.

My students love creating and presenting book talks and I love that they inspire their classmates to read books that they love.  The best way to find a great book to read is to get a recommendation and to get a recommendation from a peer is even better. My regular book talks help to create a classroom reading culture that gets students talking to each other about books. 

If you would like to use a tried and true template with a detailed rubric, check out my Digital Book Talk Template on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click the image to have a look! 

image of Digital Book Talk

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