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Book Projects for Middle School

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

The classic book report isn't the only way to think about books. We can keep students engaged with book projects. Check out these ideas you can try in a middle school classroom.

Book Projects for Middle School

It's impossible to overstate the importance of reading for young students. When students get behind in reading, it can affect their learning for the remainder of their educational careers. Reading can be fun in its own right, and be its own reward, but it can help keep students focus if we give them an activity to complete as part of reading. One way to do this is to surround a reading experience with a book report or project. Traditionally, this was nothing more than a piece of writing about the book they read, but there are more creative versions of these projects we can assign. Here are a few ideas for middle school book projects.

Book to Film Comparison

These days, students have a tendency to be more engaged in movies and television than they are with books. This is a shame, and has had a detrimental impact on student learning. However, we can take advantage of this change to help engage students. One possible book project is to have students read a book, and then watch an adaptation of that book. The goal is to write a paper, or deliver a presentation, comparing the book and its adaptation. Students can highlight the differences between the two, their opinions on which was better, and their critiques of the changes that were made from the book. It also has the added benefit of showing students how much more depth a book can have compared to an adaptation, and highlighting the difference that internal monologue makes.

Student-Led Discussion

Another approach to a book project is to have students work in groups to lead a discussion about the book. This requires that all students in the class read each of the books assigned to each group. It, therefore, will require some time to build up to, but will be worth it in the end. Encourage students to produce a fun, interactive, and engaging discussion or activity that will help their fellow classmates think more deeply about the book they read, give opinions, and ask deeper questions.

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