Book Cover Activity: Analytical and Evaluative Discussion, Redesign, and Lesson

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Looking for a fresh way to have students engage with a book? Book covers are an underutilized resource in the classroom. With this three-part book cover activity, students will learn elements of effective book covers, analyze and evaluate covers of high-interest novels, redesign covers that are ineffective or create them for different audiences, and then write an optional informative essay about book cover marketing.

When to use this book cover activity...

Use this book cover activity as a hook before a choice reading unit. It would work well during book clubs, reading workshop, literature circles, and independent reading units.

Due to its analytical and evaluative nature, it would also be ideal as part of a unit that involves analyzing marketing techniques or analyzing and evaluating purpose and audience.

Because of the optional writing extension activity, this lesson would also work well in an informative writing unit.

The visual nature of this assignment will appeal to students' creativity.

There are three main parts to this book cover activity:

  1. An engaging whole-class and small group discussion involving books!
  2. A book cover redesign and analytical explanation activity
  3. An optional four paragraph informative essay writing extension assignment

Included with this book cover activity, you will find:

  • An introductory PPT presentation with speaker notes to help you lead a whole class discussion about effective book covers and their ingredients. You will need books for students to analyze and discuss. 12 secured slides are included, but you can add and delete slides to adjust content.
  • A graphic organizer with analytical and evaluative questions for covers of book students have not read; includes editable version
  • A graphic organizer with analytical and evaluative questions for covers of book students have read; includes editable version
  • Blank book covers so that students can redesign a book cover of their choice to make it more effective or so that it appeals to a different audience
  • Prompts to help students explain why they made the design / marketing choices they did to appeal to an audience and “sell” their book; includes editable version
  • Rubrics for the redesigned front and back book covers; includes editable version
  • An optional extension informative essay with a three point rubric and graphic organizers for four paragraphs; includes editable version

You can use this book cover resource with picture books, young adult novels, and pretty much any category of book.

Check out the preview of this resource for more details and images!

This mini unit is intended for middle and high school students and, depending on the length of your class periods, can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days.

Looking for more activities to engage students? Try these:

Vocabulary - Ultimate Differentiated Vocabulary Bundle

Reading Graphic Organizers Activity Bundle

Fiction and Nonfiction Discussion Task Cards

My Reading Ladder

Leveled Comprehension Bookmarks

Reading Response Journal Prompts

Scaffolded One Pager

And more here!

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Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only.

Total Pages
12 pages and 12 PPT slides
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.


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