The month of October is full of exciting fall and Halloween activities in the classroom. From pumpkins to witches – there’s always so many fun things to choose from! You probably have that one lesson you teach every year at this time. For me, we always write book reviews on our favorite books and display them in the hall for others to see. It is our hope, as a classroom, that we inspire other students to read one (or more) of our favorite books.
I call this writing activity “Wrapped Up in a Good Book” and you can download it for free from my store. In this lesson, we discuss opinion writing – also referred to as argumentative writing for upper grades. I always teach the traits of opinion writing such as…
- focusing on the reasons – why or why not
- giving reasons and evidence to support your opinions
- using opinion starters and phrases, etc…
Students choose their favorite book and either check it out from the school library, classroom library or bring it from home. Then, they fill out a brief book review sheet.
This is also a great time to review fiction vs. non-fiction and the many different genres of writing. I also show students how some of their chosen books fit into more than one genre category.
After that, students use the book review form to write a summary and review of their book. This form includes the same types of questions asked on the book review sheet, so students basically just fill in the blanks (using their *best* handwriting). I always print students a small book cover to glue on their book review. I print the book covers as wallet size – 2 x 3 images and they fit perfectly! I back their book review with colored construction paper and students give their book a star rating by coloring in 1 to 5 stars (with 5 being the best).