Activities, projects and tips for the classroom
Classroom projects on this page created by Rebecca English or Godwin Heights High School, Wyoming, Michigan
Students write a letter from a character's point of view
Letter to Author
Students write a letter to an author stating what they liked or disliked about the plot, setting, characters, conflict, etc.
Alternate Book Ending
Create an alternate ending to an Orca title
Students write short reviews of their favorite books. Includes downloadable worksheets.
Coat of Arms
Instead of making a coat of arms for themselves, students make it about a book character.
Students create a six-word memoir for a character
File Folder Book Report
Students create a book report using a file folder and gift tags
Mobile Book Report
Students create a book report using a hanger and gift tags or cut-out shapes
Silent reading in class is a great way to encourage students to read daily. Reading every day will increase fluency, enhance vocabulary, improve writing skills and raise test scores.
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"I love talking with my students about what they think will happen next or what they would do in a particular situation that they just read about. I enjoy reading the Orca books because I can recommend specific books to certain students knowing that they will be able to make connections to the book. It’s one thing to have books in your classroom, it’s another thing to actually read the books yourself and think about who would connect well with the story.
Most of my students learn best by “doing.” After taking a survey of my classes, I learned that my students enjoy doing hands-on projects about the books instead of giving the standard book report. There are many ways to incorporate hands-on projects for books that reflect what a student has learned through reading. Although multiple choice quizzes check for understanding, having students apply their knowledge and create a one of a kind book project requires higher order thinking skills.
I often tell my students that employers want people who can think outside of the box and come up with unique ideas – not robots that think alike and don’t have a creative thought in their head. After showing students a model of various projects, while giving them a general idea of what thinking outside of the box involves, I turn them loose to show off what they’ve learned. Some students prefer drawing and getting crafty, while others prefer creating things through technology. Glue sticks, colored cardstock, old magazines, and a bunch of craft supplies fill my room. The music is turned on as my student’s energy buzzes throughout the room and breeds enthusiasm. And no, we aren’t quietly sitting at our desks working on a five paragraph essay or a structured book report that will look like everyone else’s. Ahhh. Thank goodness. I can’t think of a better way to engage in learning."
—Rebecca English, Godwin Heights High School, Wyoming, Michigan