Generally, when we think of book reports, we think of fiction reading response. However, nonfiction book report templates serve equally as important of a purpose for digging deep into nonfiction texts.
Book reports are such a great way to encourage the use of many different reading skills with the same text. With one nonfiction text, students can practice skills like identifying main idea and details, analyzing text structure, finding nonfiction text features, summarizing, quoting, paraphrasing, finding the author’s purpose, citing text evidence, etc. The list goes on and on!
By allowing students to practice so many skills at once, they are able to deeply analyze the text and think critically about the topic. Students can then form their own opinions on the topic and the author’s writing style, and ask important questions for further investigation.
1. BACKPACK BOOK REPORT:
Backpack Book Reports are an engaging, hands-on twist on a classic book report. They are very easy to prep and make a great bulletin board display when completed.
Each page focuses on an important nonfiction reading skill. These include:
- Main Idea & Supporting Details
- Nonfiction Text Features
- Author’s Point of View & Text Evidence
- Text Structure
- Academic Vocabulary
- Interesting Facts
- Back Up Opinions
- Reflection (What I Learned, My Connection, Questions I Still Have)
2. BOOK REPORT TAB BOOKS:
These tab books really bring nonfiction texts to life! Students re-create the cover of their informational book on the front of their book report. Then, each of the 10 tabs represent an important nonfiction reading response skill. The tabs include:
They also come in full page option to maximize student writing space, or half page size to maximize wall space for a display.
3. INFORMATIONAL TEXT LAP BOOK REPORT:
These lap books are great in that you can have students 1.) completely design their own lap books, or 2.) provide them with more structured directions.
- Lap Book Free-Writes: The teacher tells students what nonfiction elements they are responsible for reporting on, but does not tell them exactly how to present them. The teacher provides students tools like paper, envelopes, scissors, etc. and students can present the information however they would like.
- Structured Lab Book: With this option, the teacher can set clear expectations and provide a model for how to present each nonfiction element on their lap books.
4. NONFICTION BOOK REPORT TEMPLATES:
Students can fill in each template and staple them together with the included cover page. These 10 templates are versatile in that if there’s a skill you haven’t yet covered, you can easily leave that page out until later into the school year and it won’t affect the finished book report product.
5. DIGITAL NONFICTION BOOK REPORT TEMPLATES:
These digital slides are the same as the nonfiction book report templates above, just in a digital Google Slides format. With this format, teachers can just delete any of the slides that cover skills that their students are unfamiliar with before making them their own copy.
6. CEREAL BOX BOOK REPORT IDEAS:
Cereal boxes are a popular 3D way to have students present their book report since cereal boxes are easily accessible for any student to get their hands on. Students cover their boxes with paper to create drawing and writing space.
The front of the box is transformed into a type of cereal that is fitting for the text they read. For example, a student reporting on owls might name their box “Hoot Loops”. Then, the back and sides of their box are filled with information on the text.
Similar to the lap book options described above, it is up to the teacher in how much structure they want to provide in this activity. Students can follow a model of how to present each element of nonfiction, or come up with their own ways to present each element on their box.
7. ONE PAGE BOOK REPORT (One Pager):
Not every single book report we assign needs to take up tons of class time. A one-page book report option is an essential resource as it can be used as a quick, zero prep assessment tool. Although short, this type of report can still have students dig deep into reading comprehension.
On the one pager that is pictured, students still use many important nonfiction skills. These include writing a nonfiction summary, identifying text structure, finding facts, giving an overall opinion, writing a recommendation, reflection on what they learned, and providing a rating.
8. PARAGRAPH WRITING WITH GUIDELINES:
If you are looking for a way to provide a lot of structure and clear expectations, you can give students a nonfiction book report writing rubric for what their reports need to include from the very start.
Students can also use graphic organizers that break down necessary points to include according to their rubric. Using a graphic organizer for prewriting is a great support for students in organizing their ideas before jumping into their drafts.
No matter what book report format you go with, it is important that students know and understand what is expected of their writing content. Displaying a Nonfiction Book Report Bulletin Board is such a helpful way to provide students with steps to writing a book report as well as terms they will come across in their templates.
Next up: Fiction Book Report Writing Ideas