Book Review Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

This lesson plan will help students learn how to construct an effective book review. After observing the teacher model the process, students will write their own book review about a favorite book, using details and personal reflections.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • create an organized list of ideas when brainstorming
  • use ideas from brainstorming to create a summarizing book review
  • incorporate headings into a piece of writing

Length

60 - 75 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2.A

Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.A

Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.B

Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Materials

  • paper and pencils for students
  • prior to the lesson, students should select and read a favorite book that they would like to review. Make sure students have it available on the day of the lesson.
  • You should also pre-select a book to use during the instructions of the lesson, and have a copy readily available. (It may also be helpful to have a book review written prior to the lesson, created to intentionally illustrate concepts students need to include in their own reviews.)

Instructions

  • Walk up to a student or item in the classroom, and make one factual and one opinionated statement.
    • Lauren is a fourth grader, and she tells really funny jokes.
    • This chair is blue, and I think it is pretty uncomfortable when you sit in it for a long time.
  • Ask students to discuss with a partner what they notice about the statements you made. Guide them to understanding that they included both a fact and an opinion.
  • Tell students that today everyone will be writing book reviews, including the teacher. In order to make it manageable, the book review will be divided into sections.
  • Explain to students that for each section, you will think aloud and model the process, and then they will complete that section of their own book review.
    • What should be included in our book review?
    • Think of your audience. What would they want to know about the book if they have never read it?

Activities

  • Before starting the activities, distribute paper and pencils to students.
  • Make sure students have the copy of their selected book where they can easily access it.

Brainstorming

  • To teach brainstorming, you will model the process by thinking aloud and creating an organized list of ideas to include in the book review.
    • The first part of writing a book review involves brainstorming, or thinking of all of the possible ideas that we want to include in our review.
    • For my book, I know I want to include general information for the reader. It will be important to include the title and author of the book.
    • I want to list the main characters of the story.
    • I'll add to my brainstorming list any problems and solutions in the story.
    • I think I want to write down feelings that I had when I read the book.
  • After modeling how to brainstorm, give students about five to ten minutes to do the same for their book.

Writing an Introduction

  • Tell students that they will first be writing an introduction in their review.
    • How should we begin? What will capture the reader's attention?
  • Model writing a strong introduction, with an attention-getting opening sentence. Include the title and author in the introduction, and give this section the header of 'Introduction'.
  • After modeling this section, give students time to write their own introduction.

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