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The Chapter Book Challenge: Alternative Idea for a Book Report

written by: Margo Dill•edited by: Trent Lorcher•updated: 12/12/2012

Many second or third grade students should be moving out of picture books and into chapter books. However, you may have a weekly book report requirement in your room, and you need an idea for creative book reports. Challenge students with an enrichment idea for reading--Chapter Book Challenge.

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    What is Chapter Book Challenge?

    Chapter Book Challenge is one of the enrichment ideas for reading, similar to writing traditional book reports, but used for more challenging books. Students are reading chapter books throughout the week, and they may not always finish them in time to turn in a book report on Friday. With Chapter Book Challenge, students receive an activity sheet for alternative book reports that looks like a tic-tac-toe board. In each tic-tac-toe square, there's an activity to do with a chapter book such as, "Write a paragraph and predict what will happen in the next chapter. Support your answer with events in the story." The board could also contain creative book reports such as "Write a letter to your favorite character." or "Draw a picture of the setting, and write a four-line poem about it."

    On Thursday evening at home or on Friday during school, your students in the Chapter Book Challenge program would complete one of the tic-tac-toe square activities and turn it in INSTEAD of doing a traditional book report. When they finish the activity, they put an X through the square. This helps them pick different alternative book reports each week instead of always doing the same one. Your student does the activity even if he or she is not finished with the book.

    If your student finishes a chapter book, he or she does what the rest of the students do when they finish a book. If your students fill out a book report form, so does the Chapter Book Challenge student. If your students write creative book reports, so does your CBC student.

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    Common Questions

    ramona by the suss-man (Mike) www.flickr With all enrichment ideas in reading, there are often questions when starting a program.

    Teachers often ask if students receive a new tic-tac-toe sheet each time they start a new book. The answer is no. Students can use the same sheet for many different chapter books until they have completed each activity. When the tic-tac-toe board is full of Xs, then they can have a new sheet for alternative book reports.

    Another common question is should these students stop reading picture books all together? The answer again is no. There's nothing wrong with a second or third grade student reading some of their old favorites--adults like to revisit favorite picture books, too. But it is important for students to improve reading skills, and this happens when they challenge themselves with more difficult texts and write creative book reports.

    Sometimes, students, parents, and teachers get hung up on the fact they are turning in fewer book reports. Students will want to do a Chapter Book Challenge activity AND a book report. Do not have a visible chart of completed book reports in your room. Students love to see how many stickers they have compared to their friend, and then they are caught up in reading quick and easy books and pumping out book reports.

    Enrichment ideas in reading should focus on reading skills that need to be practiced in your grade level, according to your curriculum.