Over the past couple of days, we have been working in the library with our school librarian, Mrs. Grubbs, on reading a book and writing a booktalk, or summary, about it. Summarizing is an important skill that we have to master for our SOL tests at the end of the year. The students have done a pretty good job with this in reading, but we need to continue to master this skill.
Using an idea I got from Henrico’s UnConference in January, and planning with Mrs. Grubbs, we came up with the idea of having the students read and summarize Virginia Readers’ Choice Primary Books for 2011/12 . Each year, 10 books are chosen as The Virginia Readers’ Choice (VRC) Books for that year. The VA State Readers Association’s website defines the purpose of the VRC Books are “To encourage young readers to become better acquainted with contemporary books with outstanding literary appeal, to broaden students’ awareness of literature as a life-long pleasure, to encourage reading aloud in classrooms as a means of introducing reading for pleasure, and to honor favorite books and their authors.”
After we reviewed summarizing a story, we showed the students examples of Reading Rainbow booktalks and Longdale Elementary’s student booktalks to give the students a visual of what we were going for. After showing the students these videos, they chose a VRC book to read and used the planning sheet and rubric to write their booktalk.
As the students finished their planning sheets they used Pages to type up their script. We took the scripts, copied the text into iMovie, and used it as a “teleprompter” when we recorded ourselves giving our book talks.
Once a student finishes recording their videos, they edit out their mistakes, and we add their video to our Booktalk Blog Page. All the complete videos are going to be given a specific QR Code. These QR Codes will then be put on each respective book, so students coming to the library can use the QR Code Reader on the iPads to get a quick booktalk summary about the book to see if the book would interest them.
The project is starting out small scale with these 10 books; however, if things progress nicely, having more and more QR Code Booktalk Reviews inside the library books will hopefully get more students excited about reading! Click here for an example of our first student project finished, or you can scan the QR Code Below!