Book-choosing activities

Book-choosing activities    

How to wet your students’ appetite…

In order to get my students interested in the new books I have tried all kinds of activities. Some are short and can be done at the beginning of a lesson, others take longer and can be used as reading or speaking activities that will prepare the ground for the following reading project.


Present appropriate books regularly. In your presentations

  • focus on a key scene where your main character finds himself in a difficult situation.
  • focus on the main problem or conflict of the book
  • link the problem to the real world around us
  • do not give away the whole plot.

 Ideas for your presentations:

  • Describe the main character(s) and their situation/problem/desires…
  • Invite students to search for solutions to the problems presented in the book.
  • “Put yourself in my shoes” (How would you (the students) react if…)
  • Introduce a news article or other text about current events/news that are related to the theme of the novel.
  • Read the opening page(s) and stop at a cliff-hanger.
  • Choose a really riveting passage (where the main character is in trouble) for a running dictation or dictogloss, then have Ss guess what the book might be about.
  • Give the students the title of the book and/or bookcover, have them ask you YES/NO questions.
  • Write a postcard or letter from the main character’s point of view (e.g. : describe the situation,  ask for help). The students then write back, asking further questions, giving advice…
  • Read a riveting page from the middle of the book. Have the students guess who/what/why/where…
  • Be creative… 

While waiting for the books to arrive …

ask students to write a short paragraph (100 words) including the following phrases:

  • I’ve chosen ……. because
  • I hope that….
  • I wonder if…









For more ideas about introducing specific books look at the following examples.

  Book choosing cards for the Refugee project


Introducing The Giver


Introducing Freaky Green Eyes


Introducing The Alchemyst


Introducing The War Between the Classes


Introducing Speak


Introducing the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Guess what the story might be about:

Text a

Text b

Text c


Introducing The Body of Christopher Creed


Introducing I Am The Messenger


Introducing The Gospel According to Larry

sample A

sample B

sample C


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