Lesson Plan

QR book Review

Students design a engaging audio review to help peers select books in the library
Anthony C.
Technology coordinator
Bayview Glen
Toronto, Canada
Show More
My Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

create and mix an audio file using Adobe Audition software

use online sites like Vocaroo and Kaywa QR generator to share their recording and make accessible through mobile devices  

apply Design Thinking to aid their creative process


English Language Arts
Grades 7 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook: what is sound?

Ask students if they listen to podcasts. Discuss with students the advantages of podcasts for users (anytime listening)  Explore how Radiolab makes their podcasts and explore what is sound using the above podcast.

Student Instructions

What is a podcast?

A podcast is like a radio show. However, instead of being broadcast live, a podcast is recorded and then distributed over the internet, so that you can listen to it whenever you please. There are thousands of podcasts available, ranging from general interest entertainment shows to those which focus on specific topics (e.g. computers / music / education).

How do I listen?

You can usually listen to podcasts directly on the websites of those people who make them (see below for some examples). However, you can also "subscribe" to podcasts using software like iPodder and iTunes. These programs will automatically download the latest shows, and you can then listen to them on your computer and / or mp3 player. To subscribe to a podcast, you need to know the RSS feed (this information should be on the podcaster's website). iTunes has its own directory, where you can subscribe to a show, simply by clicking the "Subscribe" button.

Listen to the RadioLab recording. How do they describe sound? 

What elements make up almost all podcasts? Consider types of sounds, structure, routines, tone, and other similarities. 


2 Direct Instruction: Students to find and share their favourite podcasts from iTunes

Students to find and explore their favourite podcast (G rated of course) to share with the class. Share the first 30 seconds with the class. 

What elements make up almost all podcasts? Consider types of sounds, structure, routines, tone, and other similarities. 

Student Instructions

Explore and share with the class an interesting podcast (G rated of course) you find on a topic of your choice. Share the first 30 seconds but but feel free to critically listen to the content, style and structure. 

What elements make up almost all podcasts? Consider types of sounds, structure, routines, tone, and other similarities. 

Create a graphic organizer on the elements of a good podcast. 

Would you consider your podcast a good choice? Why or Why not?

3 Guided Practice: Students create a podcast that starts with a book review

Teachers to share screencasts on Adobe Audtion, Audacity and Vocaroo to use with audio. (independent)

Teacher-directed lessons should explore: importing audio, editing audio, working with multi-track recording, and exporting recordings in multiple formats. (teacher - student)

Vocaroo is a website where you can upload audio that can shared as a link or QR code. 

Student Instructions

Step 1: Work through the screencasts to record some sample tracks using our Snowball Mics and Audacity and Audition software.

Step 2: When complete upload your audio content to Vocaroo to create a shareable link and QR code

Step 3: Add the QR code  to your recording to a simple poster in Photoshop  with the cover of the book

Step 4: Test your recording using your phone using an app like Scan 

4 Independent Practice: Students work on their screencast book review

Students can select their book and medium (audio recording software) based on their experience. 

The students work independently but should work through the Design Thinking structure to frame their creative structure. Design Thinking involves collaboration at distinct points to aid the quality of the recording. 

Possible Problem: How can we encourage students to use the books in the Learning Commons? 

Student Instructions


Create your own podcast. Episode 1 should include an audio review of a book from the library.  Each person should complete the production work for their own podcast but your can involve others in the recording.  

Some book review ideas 

For this task, we will recording an audio review of a book found in our library.


Your review



"A book report presents the content and structure of a book as objectively as possible, without comparison. It provides not only a summary of content but also an analysis of structure. The purpose of the report is to give enough information about a book to help decide whether it will be of use or interest to the reader."


From <http://library.concordia.ca/help/writing/book-report.php>


Bibliographical Information

Give the author's name; full title of book including subtitle; editor, if any; place, publisher and date of publication; edition, if necessary; and the number of pages - all this in bibliographical form under the title of the report.

Background Information

Supply any information about the author which shows their credentials for writing in this field or which reveals any influences, which may have affected the author's point of view. Note any interesting circumstances that led to the writing of the book.

Classification on the Basis of the Kind of Book

Is the book fiction or non fiction? If Non-fiction classify it further according to its subject area, such as history, philosophy, travel, biography, autobiography, psychology, anthropology, etc. Clues for this classification may be found in the title, subtitle, table of contents, reviewers' comments, author's preface, and introduction.


From <http://library.concordia.ca/help/writing/book-report.php>


Summary of content

The summary is based on your reading notes, follows the author's order, and is drastically reduced to the chief ideas which advance the author's argument. It may be presented with the analysis of structure or discussed separately.

Critical Comments

Although the book report is mainly concerned with content and structure, it may contain some critical comment or your opinion about the book;

Critical comments should form the bulk of the book review. State whether or not you feel the author's treatment of the subject matter is appropriate for the intended audience. Ask yourself:

Has the purpose of the book been achieved?

What contribution does the book make to the field?

Is the treatment of the subject matter objective?

Are there facts and evidence that have been omitted?

What kinds of data, if any, are used to support the author's thesis statement?

Can the same data be interpreted to alternate ends?

Is the writing style clear and effective?

Does the book raise issues or topics for discussion?

Support your evaluation with evidence from the text. In conclusion, you may want to state whether you liked or disliked the book.


From <http://library.concordia.ca/help/writing/book-report.php>

5 Wrap by: sharing recording with others

Activity: Broadcasting

Students to share recording with librarians and schools