from Covenant Home Curriculum
In the Grammar Stage we use a simple, fill-in-the-blank format which introduces the child to book reports largely through a visual approach. First graders are asked to draw pictures in several of the forms. Second graders have the opportunity to create a plot poster and work with forms for various genres including general fiction, fantasy, biography, and historical non-fiction.
In the latter part of the Grammar Stage the forms are designed to pave the way for the analytical reading of literature. In third grade and beyond, book reports are to be written in paragraph form but our note-taking approach serves as a prompt to helping students (and parents) to know what to look for when reading. The form defines and suggests such categories as setting, character information, exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, in language suitable to elementary age students. They are intended to be reproduced so the student may make his entries directly on the page.
Since the concepts we are dealing with are new and challenging, it is our intent to keep the format as easy to use as possible. The Transitional Book Report Form used in third grade is an abbreviated version of the Note-Taking Guide and Book Report Form used in fourth and fifth grades. Included also are sections dealing with themes and evaluation. It is our hope that students will not fall into the habit of simply summarizing, to one extent or another, the books they read; we want them to analyze, interpret and apply, even at a very young age.
Finally, the Guide to Writing Book Reports is a booklet which presents the same information and more. Intended for use in the Logic Stage and beyond, this booklet offers many suggestions, and gives greater depth to explanations and genres for the older student.
Testimonial: "The Book Report Form is such a helpful tool. Teaching students to organize and articulate their thoughts will enable them develop communication skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. My children know what is expected of them every time they read a book and do a book report." (Mrs. N. - VA)