Speaking and listening are some of the essential skills our students will need throughout their entire lives.
Encourage students to share their love of reading and to help guide their peers' future book selections by conducting regular book talks. Here is a rubric that works well with my 8th grade students.
While the audience is listening, keep them actively engaged by having them track titles they heard about, jotting questions for the presenter(s), and capturing a quick reminder of why they might want to read each title they heard presented.
You can even assess your audience members' listening skills by assigning them a "grade" based on how well they completed the participation page and by listening to questions they ask presenters.