The Teacher's Cabinet
Resources and ideas for creating engaging classrooms.
Home            21st Century Book Reports
Great Resources for
Summer School!

Learn to identify common birds plus ideas for attracting backyard birds.

Flower Power: Learn parts of a flower.
Includes a fun craft idea.
Inside Seeds: Learn parts of a seed.
An active simulation to
teach about why some
animals may become endangered.
Practice making change using math story problems.  



Book Reports and Technology
Book reports have been a way to access reading comprehension for decades. It can, however, be a student's least favorite part of reading. Traditionally, a student reads a book, the students writes a review or report on the book, and then the student turns in the report or may share it aloud with the class. To be honest, this experience is seldom enriching for the student or classmates and can often be the least engaging experience the student will have in school. 
Technology is a part of students' lives so why not have them use it to create interesting book reports. It will make the experience more engaging for all students which, in turn, will create a greater interest in reading. It will also allow the teacher to assess reading and writing skills as well as technology standards that are now a required part of a student's school experience. Here are some ideas for 21st century book reports.
1.Have students create a comic book version of the book highlighting the main story elements. There are a variety of online tools for this. I've listed a few.
Make Beliefs This tool has a variety of images and frame sets that can be used. Students create the comic strip and print it out. They can't save your comic but, If you have older students, they can email their comic to their teacher or classmates to share it. If your students are over 13 and you have a class Facebook group they can also post their comic to Facebook. Here are some other comic strip creators:
Comic Creator (
Myths and Legends Story Creator-Teachers can register their school allowing them the ability to monitor and approve their students' work.
2. Create a podcast. Students can create an interview type show where they interview characters in the book, create a short movie trailer for the book, or actually have characters act out portions of the book. This can be captured and edited using Windows Movie maker. If they are a little camera shy they could create an audio podcast using Audacity. You can download Audacity for free and it's easy to use. Students who are a little more savvy with technology can add sound effects or music tracks to their recording.
3. Students can use Glogster to create an online book poster. It that acts as an advertisement for the book they just read. Students should include the title and author of the book, key characters, use pictures that support the story line, and create a tag line that will make others want to read the book. Teacher's set up free accounts for their students and can then monitor their work. 
4. Have students post short book reviews or comments about a book on an online corkboard. A couple of good ones are and or
5. Students can create a game using a powerpoint template or SMART notebook software. There are a variety of game templates that can be downloaded from the SMART Exchange website at You can get PowerPoint game templates from the Jefferson County Schools website at

nook color at! Now with Popular Apps, Email, Web & Video with Adobe Flash Player!
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Last Update on 4/15/13