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We recently featured Kristin’s outstanding ideas for a creative novel study, using From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler by E. L. Konigsburg with her fifth-grade class. Below is the study’s culminating project, called a “Summary-by-Chapter” book report. Check out this great idea, which can be applied to any book or novel!
A “summary-by-chapter” book report asks students to create a book report with a few sentences and visual representations summarizing each of the story’s chapters (see attached detail sheet and grading rubric). This is the catch: I leave the assignment fairly open-ended, telling students that they can use whatever materials they’d like to create their visuals.
Whenever I assign this project, the students’ creativity is always so phenomenal! Besides receiving traditional book report formats, I’ve received pop-up books, PowerPoint presentations, display boards, and even a cardboard box divided into 10 sections with a clay representation of each chapter!
Additionally, in the review of the story, they are always very excited about sharing their favorite part of the book, their favorite character, and if they’d recommend the novel to a friend (a resounding ‘yes!’ for From the Mixed-Up Files). I was so excited about how my students reacted to this project; they really got into it!
If you’re looking for a creative way to end a literature study, try this one…and see where your students’ imaginations take them!
Kristin M. Woolums, M. Ed., teaches fifth grade at a private school in Atlanta and works at The School Box at Southlake during the summer months.