Independent Reading Responses

Grades 6-9

Teacher Team (Gifford, Gubler, Hurst)

Hurricane Middle School

Hurricane, Utah


To encourage, support, and motivate independent reading by appealing to different learning styles and offering students multiple choices when responding to books. Some choices will be completed while students are reading the book, some after.

 C Level

 Earn your set number of points for your individual reading goal, as determined by student and teacher.


*Required: Read a book at your independent reading level. Show evidence through your reading log, student agenda or reading homework slips, signed by parent/guardian, 5 x weekly for 30 minutes per session, unless accommodations are made. Extra credit for weekend reading.

 During and after reading, choose any 7 of the following choices for a total of 70 points:

1. Sign up for a time to confer with teacher/peer to orally defend your book. (10 points)     

2. Choose a graphic organizer or strategy sheet from the bulletin board(learning center). Complete it using your book as your source. "How to" complete the organizer/sheet will depend on which comprehension strategy you choose to focus on. Confer with teacher about which strategy you chose. (20 points)

3. Draw or illustrate two or more of the following story elements: (20 points)

             a. Main characters - choose any one or group of characters

             b. Settings

             c. An important event

             d. Parts of plot - beginning, climax, end

 4. Do a "Book in a Bag" report, using props and explaining their significance to whole class or small group. (20 points)

 5. Share your thoughts about this book in a Book Talk session, discuss it with peers. (10 points)

 6. Role play - be a main character from the book—tell about your life and experiences first-person. Let listeners question you. (10 points)

 7. Create a poster that would advertise or "sell" your book. (20 points)

 8. Using pictures from magazines, etc., design a collage that

 represents your book in some aspect. Tell about it. (20 points)

 9. Write notes or letters to your friends about the book, sharing your thoughts. (10 points)

 10. Group activity for students who read the same book: Use the cooperative learning strategy called "Talking Chips" to generate a discussion about the book. (20 points)

11. For two people who read same book: Pair and Share your opinions, thoughts, about the book. (10 points)

 12. Write a rap about the book. (20 points)

 13. Choose appropriate music as a background for retelling the book, perform it for the class. (20 points)

 14. Write song lyrics and/or music - create a song about the book. (20 points)

 15. Write a free-verse poem about the book. (20 points)

 16. Use your Reading Response Log/Journal to respond to your book daily, showing the "tracks of your thinking" -- e.g. questioning, visualizing, connecting, predicting, inferring, summarizing the essence of text, etc. (40 points)

B and A Levels

Do any combination of these activities for a total of up to 40 more points. Your grade will depend on how many you choose and the quality of your work.

1. Help write and act out a scene from the book either as a group or as an individual. (30 points)

2. Assume the role of interviewer. Come up with five "THICK" questions to ask the author. (10 points)

3. Put together a TV show with a group, one person being the interviewer, other people taking roles from the book, or being questioned about the book. You write the questions and decide on the parts each will play, then gather your group, rehearse, and present the show to an audience. (40 points)

4. For a class novel unit: Write up and conduct a survey of peers. Come up with questions about feelings, recommendations about the book. Organize, compile, and present your findings both verbally and graphically. (40 points)

5. Genre study: Write up and conduct a survey of peers about favorite, least favorite genres, finding out why people feel the way they do. Organize and compile findings, present them both verbally and graphically. (40 points)

6. Do independent research about a topic suggested by your study of

the book Teacher must approve your topic. Search at least five different web

sites from the internet, writing down the web address, and summarizing your

findings. (30 points)

7. Make flash cards of at least ten new words you encountered in the book. Put the word on one side, the definition and the word used in context on the other side. (10 points)

8. Create and illustrate a timeline of the book. (20 points)

9. Create a map of the setting or multiple maps of different setting used in the book. Tell what important events occurred at each location. (20 points)

10. Do an internet author study. Research and find out all you can about

the author, then write a letter to the author. (30 points)

 11. Rewrite the ending of the book. (up to 30 points, see rubric)

 12. Ponder what you think is the main theme or overarching concept of the book. Write it down. Then choose two of the following: (40 points)

             a. Write a 200 to 300-word essay about this theme.

             b. Read another book that relates directly to that theme

             c. Tell about the new book in a Book Talk session.

 13. Share your thoughts about the book with the entire class. Bring a food item representative of the book to share with the class. Tell how it would relate to the book and why you chose it. (30 points)

14. Create a new cover for the book, as if you were on assignment from a major publishing house. Think about design and illustration elements, color, font…what will make this book even more appealing to readers. Fold your paper so you have flaps just like a real book cover. On the inside front cover, write a blurb - a summary of the book for potential readers. On the inside back cover, write "All about the illustrator"—that’s

YOU. Tell readers a little about yourself, and include a photo if possible. If not, draw yourself. On outside back cover, write reviews of the book from various publications as if you had interviewed them. (40 points)

15. The book is on trial. As a group, decide on a judge, a prosecutor, defender, witnesses, including expert witnesses, a jury. Hold a court session about the book.

16. Become an expert on one of the main topics or themes of the book. This theme could be from the setting, prevailing culture, characters, relationships, conflict, etc. Be sure you have teacher approval for your topic before you begin. (40 points)