I did this activity with my students following Mr. Schu’s visit to our school. It is 100% inspired by Mr. Schu and his slideshow of book talks. Also, I book talk in this format constantly, where I have a slide with the book on the screen as I share the book. My students read a lot, so why not have them share a book in this way? We have Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts at my school, so we have a great set of tech tools at the ready.
My students used Google Slides to access an assignment I posted in Google Classroom (Yes, I have all of the students in Google Classroom by reading teacher. I highly recommend it). After viewing a short slideshow of book talks I created, and after we talked about the important components of a book talk slide, I asked my students to create their own slide. They shared it with me, and then, I compiled the slides into a slideshow of student book recommendations. This is fun for students because it allows them to be creative, to show ownership of their learning, and share! This activity was a big hit, and I will definitely use this on a regular basis.
Here’s the template I gave them:
- Class set of computers, or students may use a personal device
- A slideshow of great books you’ve previously created
- A template of a book talk slide
- 1 class period (My middle schoolers completed this easily in about 30 minutes or less.)
- Create an assignment in Google Classroom (*I have each reading class already part of a Library Google Classroom).
- If you do not have the students set-up in Google Classroom, you can totally still do this. Just have students share/ send their slide to you. They should give you editing capabilities if sharing via Google.
- Book talk several books yourself with an accompanying slideshow. Ask students along the way to notice the various components of the each slide.
- Create a template slide to show students the components of a Book Talk slide
- TITLE- font no larger than 30 pt., italicized.
- AUTHOR- font no larger than 24 pt.
- COVER IMAGE- use the library catalog, or if you’re comfortable, Google Images, or whatever you prefer
- Have students include a small text box under the image to provide the name of the website where they found the image.
- BOOK HOOK (3-5 sentences that spark interest in the book without giving anything away. No spoilers! Emphasize qualities of good writing. If students are having trouble getting started, have them begin with a “what if” statement. Ex: What if you had to flee your home at a moment’s notice and all you’ve ever known, and you are captured and sent to a work camp in Siberia?
- RECOMMENDED BY: My students use the name they go by, which should also include their last name.
- Optional items to consider: genre, location in the library
- Allow students to be creative with background, colors, fonts. Yes, you will end up with a slide that has pizza cat as the background for a book that has nothing to do with pizza or cats. Remind students that the goal is to represent the book they’re excited for others to read and the graphics should contribute positively and not be distracting. Even so, you’ll still get a pizza cat.
- If you created an assignment in Google Classroom, when a student “Turns In” the assignment, it will attach their slide. You can then find the slides from that class in your Drive.
- If you are not using Google Classroom, but are still using Google (GAFE) have students share the slide with you, giving you editing permissions. You will locate these in your Drive- shared with me.
- Here are a few samples from my students.
- I used a checkbric to assess the following:
- All components are represented: Title, Author, recommended by, image, and hook.
- Hook sparks interest in the book without giving away the story.
- Graphics complement the book (i.e.- no pizza cat)
- I used a checkbric to assess the following:
- Creating a slideshow of students book share slides
- I had to copy each submitted/ shared slide and paste it into 1 presentation.
- I could have created a presentation and then tweaked the sharing settings to allow anyone with the link to access and edit, which would have allowed the students to paste their slide directly into this presentation. However, this was a step too advanced for my students.
- Post their slideshow!
- I shared their show in Google Classroom, and I will rotate different classes’ slideshows on the library tv.
I tied this activity to one of our standards, which is the same across grades 6-8 in ELA in my district, which is: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
My students did a fantastic job, and they put time and care into their work. I’ll be using and sharing many of their book talk slides for years to come!