Graphic organizers for writing a book report

Although I found several, I felt that my collection could be more complete. With that in mind, I searched rather thoroughly for graphic organizer ideas wherever I could find them. Although many of the organizers I found were specifically for writing, I adapted and redesigned them to better suit teachers of literature and reading. The result is what you will see on this page--a collection of 50 graphic organizers designed specifically for teaching literature and reading.

How to Use Graphic Organizers

You may use the following quick links to go directly to what interests you on this page. You may also scroll down the page manually if you choose to do so. Character Webs.

Why Use Graphic Organizers

Responding to Literature Forms. Reading Analysis Organizers. Story Maps. Cognitive Bookmarks. Instructional Webs. Customizable Graphic Organizers. Free Download. Although the screenshots you will see here have been reduced in size and somewhat in clarity, I think you'll be able to see the main headers, subheaders, and overall design fairly well. All of the forms in this section are designed to elicit subjective responses from student readers. Additionally, a couple of them require students to do some record-keeping.


These organizers require readers to make connections with the text. The focus here is on predicting outcomes, observing literary devices, summarizing, determining cause-and-effect relationships, understanding themes, and comparing and contrasting stories. These story maps pictorially illustrate the elements of fiction and the sequence of plot. They all focus on setting, characters, conflict, complication, and resolution. These bookmarks encourage kids to think about and write about what they are reading as they read. There are 3 to 4 bookmarks per sheet designed specifically for realistic fiction, historical fiction, science-fiction, fantasy, and mystery.

The last two work very well for readers of nonfiction. Here are those cognitive bookmarks:. Although limited in number, these webs offer specific definitions and instruction designed to teach various aspects of reading. If these are fairly well received, I would be happy to design more of these in the near future. Does it convey a message, or reveal larger themes explored within the work? If the author has received any awards or prizes, this may also be mentioned within the body of the review. The genre will likely tie-in too with who the intended audience for the book is and what the overall purpose of the work is.

Graphic organizers for essay writing

It may contain interesting details related to the text that contribute to, or detract from, the work as a whole. Have students exam how the book is organized prior to writing their review. Does it contain a preface from a guest editor, for example? Is it written in sections or chapters? Does it contain a table of contents, index, glossary etc?

While all these details may not make it into the review itself, taking a look at how the book is structured may reveal some interesting aspects.

How to write a book review — Literacy Ideas

A review will often provide details of where the book is available too. When writing a book review your goal is to go beyond simply scratching the surface and make a deep analysis of a text.

As students read and engage with the work they will review, they will develop a sense of the shape their review will take. This will begin with the summary. Encourage students to take notes during the reading of the work that will help them in writing the summary that will form an essential part of their review. Aspects of the book they may wish to take notes on in a work of fiction may include:. What are their motivations?

Are they convincingly drawn? Or they empathetic characters? Are there recurring motifs in the work? Is the exploration of the themes deep or surface only? How does it fit into the wider literary world?

writing a book review graphic organizer

What happens in the rising action? A book review will generally begin with a short summary of the work itself. However, it is important not to give too much away, remind students - no spoilers, please! For nonfiction works this may be a summary of the main arguments of the work, again, without giving too much detail away.

In a work of fiction, a book review will often summarise up to the rising action of the piece without going beyond to reveal too much! The summary should also provide some orientation for the reader. Readers will most likely not have read the book in question and will require some orientation.

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This is often achieved through introductions to the main characters, themes, primary arguments etc. This will help the reader to gauge whether or not the book is of interest to them. At this point the student should begin to detail their own opinion of the book. To do this well they should:. Often when teaching essay writing we will talk to our students about the importance of climbing up and down the ladder of abstraction.

Just as it is helpful to explore large, more abstract concepts in essay by bringing it down them down to Earth, in a book review it is important that students can relate the characters, themes, ideas etc to their own lives. Book reviews are meant to be subjective. They are opinion pieces and opinions grow out of our experiences of our experiences of life.

Encourage students to link the work they are writing about to their own personal life within the body of the review.

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By making this personal connection to the work, students contextualize their opinions for the readers and help them to understand whether the book will be of interest to them or not in the process. Just as it is important to climb down the ladder of abstraction to show how the work relates to an individual life, it is important to climb upwards on the ladder too.

Students should endeavor to show how the ideas explored in the book relate to the wider world. The may be in the form of the universality of the underlying themes in a work of fiction, or, for example, the international implications for arguments expressed in a work of nonfiction.

A book review is a subjective piece of writing by its very nature. However, just because it is subjective does not mean that opinions do not need to be justified. Make sure students understand how to back up their opinions with various forms of evidence, for example, quotations, statistics, and use of primary and secondary sources. As with any writing genre, encourage students to polish things up with review and revision at the end. It is good practice too for students to double-check their use of evidence. Are statements supported? Are the statistics used correct? Are the quotations from the text accurate?

go The discipline of writing book reviews offers students opportunities to develop their writing skills and exercise their critical faculties. Book reviews can be valuable standalone activities, or serve as a part of a series of activities engaging with a central text.