Elementary school students have been writing book reports since the beginning of time. Any parent who has had to help their elementary school aged child do the standard five to six paragraph book report knows how difficult and boring it can be.

Elementary school teachers can be more creative with their book reports assignments by giving students the opportunity to express themselves in a more open minded manner. A simple rubric for grading, with points given for each piece of the project, make the grading system fair.

With a rubric, the child is given a checklist of elements the presentation and project must have. The total equals one hundred. The presentation should at least one-third of the grade, so teachers can insure that the student did in fact read the book and do the work.

A rubric creates a level playing field for all students. Some parents do too much of the project for the child, and it looks like it. Other children are offered little or no guidance, and that is evident, too. As long as each child has the same elements completed, the teacher can grade on the effort and not how slick the book report project looks.

Here are some creative ways to have students present their book reports.

Book in a Bag

The “Book in a Bag” project was one of my favorites book report projects to give as a teacher. The children were assigned to read a biography of their choice. After reading the book, they had to put five objects that represented the person’s life inside the brown grocery bag. They had to be prepared to show each object and discuss them in front of the class.

The brown bag also had to have three or four pictures of the person on the front and the back. A short paragraph about the person’s life was the written requirement.

Comic Strip Book Report Project

Children love to draw. Many love to read comics. For a book report project for my elementary school students, I would assign them to make an eight paneled comic strip on a piece of poster board. The first panel was the book title, the author and their own name. The next seven panels covered what a typical boring book report would:

Panel 2-List the main characters

Panel 3-What is the problem

Panels 4, 5, and 6-The steps to solve the problem

Panel 7-How the problem is solved

Panel 8-How the story ended

The children really enjoyed this project because there was not a lot of writing and they got to draw and use whatever art materials they wanted.

The rubric was simple. The children had to have the elements asked and make a good presentation in a loud and clear voice.

Dress as the Main Character Book Project

This is another elementary school book report that I gave during while teaching a biography unit. My students had to read the book and come prepared to class dressed as the person the book was about. They had to share important parts about is or her life.

Children were allowed to ask questions of the person, too. A brief one paragraph biography was all the writing I required.

Book reports do not need to be boring. Creative book reports for elementary school students are not only fun to do and present, they are also uses the child’s artistic talents and abilities.