Sixth graders were in the library this week and I tried out a new lesson I created just for them. I called it, "You CAN Judge a Book By Its Cover!" I was very pleased with the final results and the fun we had doing the lesson.
Before they arrived I selected several different books and placed them on the student tables. As they entered I gave them a paper with a set of directions to follow. The first step? Pick a partner! Of course, they liked that immediately.
For my sixth graders, I chose to use series because kids LOVE to read series. It’s easy. You find a book you like and if it’s a series, you don’t have to hunt for your next book! With my 7th and 8th graders, however, I can pick all types of books for this lesson. It's good to have at least twice the number of books as students. That gives them plenty of choices.
So with books in place on the table, the next step was to work with your partner to select a book from your table.
The step went on that required them to examine the book, discuss what they could determine about the book and then form some opinions about the book.
They were given a small poster paper, markers, and crayons and 15 minutes to complete the project.
I know what you’re thinking: Only 15 minutes? No way!
Well I won’t lie. With the first class I tried, I was really sweating it. Classes are only 50 minutes in length and my goal was to have them share their creations. But they did it!
Every pair finished, shared, and we even had time to vote for the best one, give a reward and still have time to check out books.
This lesson will work in upper elementary, middle grades and can even be used in high school.
It’s a great way to introduce new books and create an interest in learning more about the books.
My recommendation is to use one class period to complete the poster and use the next day for the presentations. It will give students more time to prepare the posters and to present.
I've also included a rubric score sheet with this lesson if you want to allow your students to judge the presentations or if you choose to use it for your own grading.
Common Core Standards included!
Happy teaching! :-)