Lesson Plan

Classroom Book Reviews: Reading Rainbow Style

Students use technology to document thr literature they read while creating a valuable resource for reference.
Jay V.
District Technology and Learning Coach
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

Articulate deeper meanings behind the books they read.

Use technology to document and interact with each other regarding the books they read.

Create a classroom library resource for other students to use when they begin looking for new books to read.

English Language Arts
Grades K - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 HOOK/ATTENTION GETTER : Looking for a good book to read? Let's create classroom book reviews.

How do we choose books to read?  Where do we hear about great books to read?  Most often, hearing about good books to read happens through interaction with our friends.  This flow will help your class create a resource for students to use and contribute to all while ensuring deeper thinking when it comes to the books students choose to read (or abandon).  Creating Reading Rainbow style reviews and posting them where other kids can access them is a resource that can grow and be used for years to come.  Begin with an anchor video like this or this and then adjust the content students include in their videos as needed.

2 DIRECT INSTRUCTION : Showing Videos and Creating Questions

Show the book review anchor videos of your choice and then work with the students to create a format which will work effectively for your class.  Examples could include, but certainly aren't limited to:

Is the book fiction or non-fiction?

  • Fiction video elements in videos could include: a quick retell, favorite/least favorite character, who would enjoy reading this book, and more.  Students could even explain why they abandoned the book if they chose not to finish reading it.
  • Non-fiction elements could include main idea, author's purpose, who would benefit from access to the book as a resource and more.

Ideas for elements to be shared in the videos can be gathered as a group verbally, in a shared Google document, or in a discussion in Schoology.

After the teacher and/or students decide on acceptable formats it's time to create scripts.

3 GUIDED PRACTICE : Creating a script for your video

In this step the students will create scripts for their videos in shared Google Documents.  Templates, if needed, can be implemented via Google Classroom.  There are many options for teacher/student or student to student feedback during this process in Google Drive as well.  Once the scripts are approved by the teacher it is time to create the book review videos.

4 INDEPENDENT PRACTICE : Creating book review videos

Movenote for Education
Free to Try, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid
Free, Paid

There are many different ways to capture the videos that will be shared.  Movenote is one option.  If your class has access to tablets or iPods those are other options.  Cell phones will work well here too.  Capture the video and place it somewhere where you can upload it and/or get a sharable link (Google, Schoology, etc.)

5 WRAP-UP : Post/organize the videos and use them as a resource

Free, Paid
Google Drive
Free, Paid

After videos are created the students can upload them to a discussion in Schoology.  Separate discussions can be posted for genres, etc. as needed for simpler navigation.  If you do not use Schoology a shared Google document (organized by genre) can house links to Movenote videos, videos uploaded to shared Google folders, YouTube videos organized in  genre-based playlists, etc.  

The most important part, no matter how you choose to post and share the links to videos, is creating a resource students can easily contribute to and continue to use when choosing their next book(s) to read.