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Book Projects

What is a book project?    

A book project is a personal or analytical response to a book.  

-       Analytical book projects can look traditional: an essay about theme, character, symbolism, or other from the book. They can also look like art.

           Example: Make a mobile that shows the balance between the conflicts, themes, and characters.

-       Personal book projects mean doing something personally meaningful to you that relates to or is on account of the book.

Example: Explain through an artistic element (abstract art, mobile, baking) how the main character’s relationship with another character resembles yours with someone in your life?

There is only ONE thing that is not acceptable: a book report. And a book report looks like a written explanation of the text with an ending that says what you liked/didn’t like or if you would recommend it. And a book report looks like any artistic endeavor that explains all of or a piece of the plot. Don’t spend hours on a diorama that is simply a scene from the book. Book reports.

Be safe. If your book project is causing or has a real chance to cause you physical or mental harm... PLEASE STOP

Most importantly your book project should mean something to you! If I were to move out of country and never get the chance to see your book project, I want you to still have enjoyed and found value in what you did.

How do I know if I have succeeded?

You feel good about what you did and can explain why it is relevant and awesome. You are ready to share in class or if it is deeply personal you can make a meeting with Debbie instead, or write an explanation.

If you feel stuck/stumped:

The Many Wonderful Ways to Respond to a Book

Write a diary entry that the main character might have written

Write a character sketch of someone in the book. Write more than just physical details, talk about personality, likes/dislikes. Does s/he remind you of someone you know? Why?

Rearrange a passage as a found poem. Find particularly effective descriptions or bits of action. Rewrite it, leave out superfluous words, weave it into a poem.

Write a parody, a humorous imitation, of a scene

Write a letter to the author of the book (you might send an actual copy to the author and see if you get a response).

Write a letter to one of the characters in the book

Write about a scene you would’ve written differently. Explain your version and why you think it’s better.

Watch the movie version of the book and compare and contrast them. Did you like the actors or would you have chosen others? Did they leave out scenes you would have kept in? what would you have done differently?

Pretend to do an interview with the author or one of the characters.

Pretend you are the main character. Describe a scene in which you would’ve acted differently or in which you don’t think you would’ve behaved as appropriately.

Write about how you would teach this book to school kids. Would it be appropriate? What techniques would you use? Why?

Write about some of the interesting devices the author uses (foreshadowing, short sentences, sentence structure variation, word choice, alliteration) and explain why they are necessary, what they accomplish and if they are successful.

Discuss conflicts in the novel and what you would do if faced with the same situations.

Write a review as if you were a book critic for a newspaper or magazine

Rewrite a scene from a different point of view than the author has chosen.

Create a soundtrack for the book, its characters, and/or the themes.  Write a sentence or two about why you chose the song you did.

Paint or draw a picture to show what you got out of the book.  Avoid simply recreating a scene or what you think a character looks like because this would be an example of a visual book report.

Cook something that you feel exemplifies what you got out of the book.

Do an interpretive dance of what you got out of the book.