Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Talks Are Due on the Last Day of Every Month

Independent Reading Book Talk Assignment
Your Book Talk assignment involves delivering an oral presentation (approximately 2-3 minutes) to the class about a novel you have read for independent reading.  The objective of a book talk is to convince the listener to read the book you are recommending.  A book talk is very similar to a preview for a film, which shows you just enough information to convince you that you should go see the movie. 

You may use notes to make your presentation.

1.     Introduction: Find an interesting, exciting, or mysterious excerpt from the book to start off your presentation (at least 3-5 sentences).  This excerpt should grab the reader’s attention.  Don’t just pick any old excerpt.  You might want to choose an excerpt that shows something about the character/conflict/theme in the story.  Also explain why you chose the excerpt.  Clearly introduce your book by giving the name and author of the book.

  1. Middle:  The middle of the presentation will cover the setting, characters, and general plot of the book without giving away too much of the story.  Tell a little about where the book is set, what kind of action or conflict is involved in the book, and what it is about in general (Think about the summary on the back cover of a book, but do NOT just read what is written on the back - you must write this overview yourself).  Mention the theme of the novel and give support to explain why that is the theme. Under no circumstances should you give away the specific ending of the novel.  Do not just list the characters and the setting and don’t give a drawn out summary of the book.

  1. End: Without giving away specific plot details, explain why you enjoyed this book, and try to convince the class to read it.  Explain what type of reader might enjoy this book and explain why.   

An example of a short book talk on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman:
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.” 
So begins the story of Nobody Owens, known as Bod.  On the night his parents are brutally murdered, 2 year old Bod calmly climbs out of his crib and toddles out of the house and into a nearby cemetery.  There he is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Owens (childless and dead for 250 years!)  who gladly care for the child and protect him from harm.
With loving ghostly parents, teachers, friends, and protectors, Bod grows from age two to fifteen in the graveyard.  He learns to read and do numbers, and he also learns some ghostly skills.  But not all the residents of the graveyard are friendly.  There are witches, ghouls and creatures, and let’s not forget Jack – the evil fiend who is out to finish the job he started.
Filled with great illustrations, this is a funny, exciting and suspenseful story.  How will Bod survive?  Or will he?  Can his loving family and friends really protect him from the evil Jack?  This delightfully gruesome tale will certainly appeal to both boys and girls who like adventure stories, suspense and some action. The Graveyard Book won the  Newbery Award in 2009, and the award said that the book is a delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humour and human longing" (by Diane Ferbrache, Hazen High School Librarian for The Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2011). 

Rubric for Book Talk



Introduction attracts audience
Exceptional and
creative beginning with an excellent and interesting excerpt from text
Creative beginning with a good excerpt from the text
Not a very creative or interesting beginning with a weaker quote
Not a very good beginning with no quote
Discusses the plot, setting, and characters
Thorough and interesting summary of these elements
Somewhat thorough and interesting summary of these elements
General summary of these elements; may have a few missing
Very brief summary without enough detail; lacking some elements
Discusses the theme
Correctly identifies the theme and provides specific support and explanation
Correctly discusses theme but does not include enough explanation or support
Mentions a general theme or incorrect theme but does not provide any support
Does not discuss theme at all
Conclusion makes us want to read the book (or not read the book)
Very enticing conclusion – draws the listener to read the book with convincing explanation
Somewhat interesting conclusion- listener might want to read the book
Concluded but did not draw the listener to read the book
Unconvincing conclusion or too brief; may not give opinion or recommendation
Presentation skills
  • Eye contact
  • Audible
  • Time limit
Always maintains eye contact and engages audience; presentation is clear & audible; stays within time limit
Almost always maintains eye contact; presentation is mostly audible; stays close to the time limit
Sometimes maintains eye contact; presentation is somewhat audible; either too long or too short
Never maintains eye contact; presentation is not audible; presentation is way too long or way too short.
Oral Reading Fluency
Reads excerpt from the text very clearly with effective expression and pacing for emphasis
Reads excerpt from the text with appropriate expression and pacing
Reads excerpt from the text with little expression and inappropriate pacing (either too quickly or too slowly)
Reads excerpt from the text with no expression and inappropriate pacing (way too quickly or slowly)

Comments:                                                                                                    Total Score: ___________ 

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