How you design a book talk–or ask your students to do book talks–depends on a lot of things, but one outcome we’re hoping for is to get students to consider new books. So student ownership of the book talk is key. While we may have many good ideas for how to structure a book talk (there are teachers who do magic tricks and hands-on activities rather than the four-minute spiel), student ways and means are always good to study. If we let their methods lead us, who knows how many students who aren’t reading on the regular might be inspired to try a book, once they see the buzz, hype, and joy of peers who are #bookobsessed #bibliophiles?
Check out Team Epic Read’s version of a book talk from an over-the-moon teen blogger who loooooooved YA author John Green’s latest, Turtles All the Way Down. Note: salty language included, better seen by older teens. And note the play-by-play immediacy that this freewheeling numbered list creates, inviting readers to get this reader’s experience in a truly visceral way.
When one of your students is blown away by a book, it’s a great moment to stop the presses of normal classroom activity and give them a few minutes to do this: share 144 reactions (complete with numbers, emojis, and gifs) that takes the listeners on the reader’s roller coaster ride. This is already a great blogger activity for students if the oral presentation format doesn’t suit your classroom, or time doesn’t permit.
How do you get your students to share the latest, greatest book they’ve discovered?