A great Educator Teaching Guide, available as a PDF, can help you get started using LitPick in the classroom. Some students in your class may not be interested in books or may be intimidated by assigned reading; LitPick could be an option to gently engage them in reading. As with any other genre, YA books vary in quality, but there are some excellent books to choose from. You could create contests revolving around reviews or conduct in-class discussions based on a students' reviews.Continue reading Show less
LitPick is a worldwide network of tween book reviewers that offers reviews on YA literature. Students sign up with an adult sponsor and can then request a book, which will be sent to them as a hard copy (for a small fee) or as an ebook. After reading and deciding how they feel about the book, they can write a review using LitPick's online form. They'll be asked to enter the review, some keywords that other kids can use to search, and a content rating that will help define the appropriate audience.
This site is really cool -- especially the ebook option, where you get a book sent to you for free. Students will feel important and recognized when their reviews are published online, and they'll enjoy getting books that they already wanted to read for free. Writing the review helps kids process what they've read, and they'll learn a lot as they formulate opinions. Book choices are limited to those on the LitPick list, but a lot of quality options are available, including many ultra-popular titles. There are some missed opportunities for communication: The forum, which could be a hotbed of conversation and debate, is pretty quiet, and there's no place to comment on individual reviews.
Students can learn the language of criticism; they'll learn how to talk about what they like and don't like, and why. They'll learn to think critically while reading books for fun and to put their opinions into words.
Key Standards Supported
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).