Students can begin choosing books to read for pleasure and writing book reports as early as first or second grade. Teachers can use book reports as a way to get children excited about reading by allowing them to choose a book that interests them and is at their level. Creative book report ideas allow children to share their books with the teacher and other students, and may inspire others to read the book as well.
Asking students to write a summary of the book they have read is a good way to find out if they read and understood the story. To make summary reports more interesting, there are a variety of ways to present the information. Students can create an illustrated children's book summarizing the books they read. Flow charts that sequence the important events of the story are another way to present a summary. Have the students write the book's events into a newspaper or movie script format. Students could even create a comic strip or comic book about their books to summarize the events from the story. Younger elementary students may be able to draw the pictures for their comic book or children's story and an adult can help them write in the text.
Character Development Reports
Book reports that focus on character development make students choose one character and look deeper into that character's personality and motivations. Direct students to keep a diary from a character's perspective. Ask students to create a set of interview questions they would ask a character and why they would want to know those things. Students can create a portrait or three-dimensional project representing the character and either write a description of the character or list his or her characteristics. Students could also compare and contrast two characters from the story.
Creative Writing Reports
Creative writing is a fun way for students to both share what they have read and use their imaginations. Students can write a new ending for the book they read or create a new character for the story and write a report explaining how the character would fit in and how that would change the story. Students can also write letters from one character to another, or write and obituary for one of the characters. Another option is to have students write about what they would take with them if they were able to join the characters in the story setting for a week.
Students who are artistic or enjoy working with their hands may enjoy creating a three-dimensional project as a book report. Dioramas showing a scene from the story are a good way to share important events with others. Students can create a sculpture of one or more of the characters. Another idea is to ask the students to create a board game with questions about the book and a piece for each character. Students could also make a box or capsule and fill it with artifacts related to the story. As they share each artifact with the class, they can describe why it relates to the story.