Hi friends! Did any of you get to attend a Scholastic Reading Summit this summer? I did, and one of my biggest takeaways was the power of BOOK TALKS.
Pour Your Heart Out
In this slide you can see author Katherine Applegate’s delight as she hears a sixth grader talk about a teacher pouring his or her heart out about a book.
Are you taking time to pour your heart out about books? (I’m pointing a finger at myself here because I know I need to do more of this!) Both John Schu and Donalyn Miller spoke about the power of teachers and students sharing book talks.
Here’s a video of Donalyn Miller talking about book talks and how they can build relationships among readers. Many of my students do not hear about books at home. Many of my classroom teachers don’t read children’s books, so they have no books to talk about. If I’m not sharing book talks myself and encouraging students to share their book experiences, how will we develop a culture of reading?
What IS a book talk? It’s a few sentences, designed to inspire interest in a book. It’s not a summary of the whole plot of the book, and longer book talks are often less effective. Scholastic has a Book Talk Tips printable for students here.
Emoji Book Talks
I’ve spent every spare moment in the past two weeks creating a new product that I’ll use this year with my students: Emoji Book Talks. I see emojis everywhere I go in the actual and the virtual world. I think they’ll be a colorful, fun “hook” to get our schoolwide book conversations started.
I created forms to allow students to choose an emoji representing how the book made them feel and to write a few sentences about the book. I’ve included printable emoji signs that I’ll laminate for students to use as a visual aid when they talk about their book. And of course there are color and printer-friendly versions of everything in this packet.
I’ve already bought several emoji pillows from Walmart, and I’ll add these to our comfortable seating area in the library.
I’ll use these emoji pencils as prizes for students who read their emoji book talks on the morning announcements.
I’ll use this as one of the library center activities that students can work on after they’ve checked out their library books. They can either write their emoji book talk and give it to me, or they can add a title to our emoji bulletin board.
I think this will be really fun for our students. I’m thinking about creating a book talk club to help me choose book talks to feature on the morning announcements. They can also give their book talks as excellent models, since we’ll have time to work on them together after school.
How Do You Encourage Book Talks?
I’d love to hear in a comment or in our Learning Librarians Facebook group how YOU encourage book talking at your school!
p.s.–my Emoji Book Talks are 20% off this weekend. I’d love to get feedback from you and hear what you think about the product!