Book Project Ideas Using What You Already Have at Home

Fun Book Project Ideas Using Everyday Items

“Another book report?” When you assign the same old book report that you were required to complete in elementary school, your kids might find it boring. It’s true that a traditional book report can put a damper on the experience of reading a terrific book – even for kids who love reading!

On the other hand, ending a wonderful book with a fun learning project can make a book much more memorable! There are countless ways to reflect on a great read while simultaneously extending learning. Here are some ways to spruce up the old school book reports, even when your students are learning from home. Try these book projects using what you already have at home.

Shadow Puppets

People have been telling stories with puppets since the 5th Century BC, and shadow puppets can make a really fun book project. Creating shadow puppets can be a snap by using commonly-found materials, such as popsicle sticks, cardboard, and tape. Try this shadow puppet lesson which includes science information about shadows!

Paper Bag Retell

The humble paper lunch sack can serve the purpose of extending learning by reflecting on a story and distilling it down to its essence. In this project, the student is charged with choosing 6-8 items that represent the story in some way. For example, if the book is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the paper bag might contain a small stuffed mouse, an individual carton of milk, a straw, a piece of paper, a crayon, etc. The child can then retell the story simply by pulling each item out of the bag.

DioramaChild with brown hair and orange shirt with a box and cutouts creating a Diorama of a desert scene as part of a fun book project

Always popular, the diorama is a great vehicle for a student to share his or her favorite scene from a book. Using a simple shoebox, construction paper, glue, cardboard, and maybe some paint, a child can construct a nice diorama in anywhere from an hour to a couple of days!

Character-for-a-day

Talk about ‘method acting’! Your students can adopt the wardrobe, habits, and mannerisms of a book character and spend a whole day in that role! This is a real twist on the book report and causes the learner to develop empathy by stepping into the shoes of the character. Maybe the whole family could join in the fun and even share online!

Design a new Book Cover

How do publishers choose cover art? Chances are your student would spotlight a different scene than the one depicted – so go with it! The learner can think about what he or she deemed important in the story, and design a cover around those elements.

Make a TV Commercial for the Book or Dramatize a Scene

Girl acting out book scene holding a clapper and a megaphoneFor the techie kid and/or drama queen (or king), this is a great option for reflecting on a book. By using iMovie, Adobe Spark, or even Flipgrid, students can create many kinds of video responses to literature, including a commercial encouraging others to read the book. Alternatively, one might want to act out a pivotal scene from the book. This option offers the opportunity to practice tech skills which are becoming more and more relevant.

While your students are participating in distance learning, these are perfect projects to share to encourage independent reading and enrichment. Have your learners share their book projects via your online learning platform. Try Google Classroom, Class Dojo, or Seesaw!

Let the learning continue long after the book is closed!

There are terrific options for kids to extend their learning after completing a book. All children, including the artistic, the dramatic, and the laidback, can have fun while creating a product reflective of their learning – using everyday items from home.

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