Margin Notes

Lightning Round Book Talks- Student Edition


After we blogged about our lightning round book talks, our friend and colleague, Sara Bamford, contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in visiting her Grade 10 classes but with the tables turned and the students presenting the book talks.

Of course, we were all in.  The plan was for the students to present short, informal book talks on their current or recent reads and for us to identify who “sold” their books best. Sara and her students co-constructed the criteria they wanted us to use to determine a winner and she created an anchor chart “cheat sheet” of information readers could include:

When we arrived, Sara had organized the class into small groups.  Her classes were working on revising writing, which was perfect because as we circulated around the room and visited each individual group, the rest of the students were engaged in independent work, peer conferences, or conferring with Sara.

At each table group, students took turns delivering their book talk while their seatmates listened. This way, every student got to hear 2-4 discussions from their peers. We also engaged the groups in informal conferences about how they would describe themselves as readers, how they found their books, and what they planned to read next.

In each class, we identified a winner and two runners-up.  We were impressed by the creativity, insight, and passion students demonstrated when talking about their books.

We really enjoyed our day with Sara and her students and think having the students present the book talks and adding a little competition for engagement is a fun idea to try in the classroom.  Thanks for having us, Sara!


Leave a Reply