For two years, I was the Technology Specialist at a school in Georgia. During that time, I amassed a large collection of websites that I use with my students. You can download my E-Book of Websites for the Elementary Classroom for free from Teachers Pay Teachers or Smashwords, or, you can check back here each week for the website suggestion.
Critiquing the books you read is a great way to think back on what happened in the book, analyze what appealed to you and what didn’t, and generally synthesize your understanding of the book. This is why I have always had students do book reviews or critiques in one form or another. Some years, I have used my Book Review Bookmarks. Other years, I have used my Reading Response Journal. This year, I decided to turn my critiques electronic. My students have been writing critiques to their books on my Good Reads account. This has the added benefit of allowing students to share their book reviews and read other book reviews from people NOT in our classroom. In addition to giving them a real life audience, it gives them a real life purpose. We have talked about how one person’s review could persuade another person to buy – or not buy – a book. This was a great link to our economics unit, as well as a reason to write fair and honest reviews. If you are interested in publishing book reviews with your students, there are lots of ways for them to do it. Here are three possibilities:
1. Use Good Reads, a site where people can read, compare and recommend books to each other.
2. Leave a review on Amazon, most books are sold somewhere on this huge marketplace, so this is a great one for real life usage.
Before students write their own reviews, you might want to have them read reviews of others. If you are looking for reviews geared specifically for children, check out Slime Kids’ Book Reviews, which features 16 different sites that have book reviews written just for kids.