Wednesday, October 12, 2011


In my daughter's Inkheart post, I explained that when my daughters finish a book, they are required to complete a book activity. (I think book activities are a LOT more fun than a book report...) Here is the list of 30 book activities that I put together for my daughters:

  • Make a soundtrack for the book by choosing at least 10 popular songs. For each song, explain in at least one sentence why you chose the song and how it relates to the events or characters in the book. (You can use quotes if you want to.) You may also burn a CD soundtrack if all the songs are available.

  • If you could change places with one character, who would it be and why? Your explanation should be at least one page. Remember to describe the character and their situation well because your audience may not have read the book. Give us EVIDENCE - examples of things the character has done or said that supports your decision.

  • Which character is most like you. Why? Your explanation should be at least one page. Remember to describe the character... etc. same as #2.

  • Change the time and place of the novel. Explain how this would change the story. First tell us where and when the novel takes place. Then tell us where and when you would change it to. Focus on how the characters would be different and how the plot might change.

  • Become one of the characters in the book and describe your experience during a certain event. Your description should be at least one page. Write in the FIRST PERSON and remember to use as many senses as possible in your description.

  • Choose one character, tell how they behaved/what they were like in the beginning, how they behaved/what they were like at the end, and how they changed. Your description should be at least one page.

  • Make a cartoon of the book or a chapter (at least 8 panels in full color with text).

  • Draw a scene from the book. Your drawing must include a LOT of detail.

  • Describe an experience you've had that was like something that happened in the book. Your description should be at least one page. First describe the event in the book, then describe the event that happened to you.

  • Write a song (to an already made up melody) for one of the characters in the book. Include a one paragraph explanation after the song of why this song is appropriate for the character.

  • Make a collage of a major theme from the book. Use clippings from magazines, newspapers, etc. The collage must include at least 10 different clips. On the back of the collage, explain in one paragraph what theme you are representing and what it has to do with your novel.

  • Imagine your book is being turned into a movie - who would play each character? Name at least 8 characters and who would play them (explain in at least one sentence why and include a quote from each character that makes your point).

  • Write an obituary for a character (at least one page).

  • Write a letter to a character. Then, have that character write a letter answering back in the voice of the character. Each letter should be at least 1/2 a page.

  • Pretend you are a newspaper reporter and write out an interview with one of the characters (at least 15 questions and answers).

  • Write an ORIGINAL song about the book. Include a paragraph explanation of how the song relates to the book.

  • Become a character and write a diary with at least 5 entries. Include events from the novel and how you feel about them. Write in the voice of the character.

  • Make an illustrated time-line of events in the book, make sure your time-line includes at least 10 events with a two sentence description and small picture or clipping describing each event.

  • What could happen after the story is over? Write a brief summary (one page) of a sequel to the book (describe the main characters, tell what the plot would be).

  • Write an imaginary interview with the author (at least 15 questions and answers).

  • Draw a map (in color) of one place in the book, labeling landmarks and points of interest.

  • Write letters from one character to another, with the second character responding. Each letter should be 1/2 a page at least.

  • Redesign the front and back cover of the book, complete with a blurb and quotes on the back (these should be made up)!

  • Write a "Dear Abby" column with questions from at least two characters asking for advice and your answers as Dear Abby. Each should be at least 1/2 a page.

  • Make a mobile of a character from the book. On the front of each piece have a picture that represents a character, on the back have a description of the character and your favorite quote that the character said.

  • Write and perform a TV commercial for your book.

  • Pick two characters from DIFFERENT books. Describe a meeting between the two of them (where and when and how it would take place) and write twenty lines of dialogue between them.

  • Rewrite a section of the book from a different character's point of view then is in the original book. This should be at least one page.

  • Write and illustrate a full children's book telling the story of your book - with a cover.

  • Choose a project that has to do with the book. OK it with mom or dad!

    1. My goodness - you make it hard to 'choose'! Can I come study with you guys? Being there sounds like the place to be... :) Mil

    2. This is the real Gary McCallister speaking.

      I think you should make them count the words in all their books. How? Count the words in ten lines and divide by ten. That gives you the number of words per line. Then count the lines on a page for ten pages. Dividing by ten gives you the average number of lines on a page. Multiply the number of word per line by the number of lines per page gives you the number of word per page. Look up the number of pages and multiply by the number of words per page.

      They will probably hate me forever for this suggestion. ;-)

      see the Flaming Moth blog entitled Numeracy and Literacy.