Book Talks in the Elementary Classroom

If you are anything like me, buying new books for your classroom library isn’t a want, it’s a need!  I love finding and grabbing new books to introduce to my students.  But what sometimes ended up happening was the new books simply got put on the shelf and lost in the sea of other books.  I hated that they had to a special place or introduction for the students to know they were there.  That’s when I discovered a book talk.  Let’s take a quick dive into book talks together and how you can use them in your classroom!

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What is a book talk?

A book talk is an informal presentation to help persuade others to read a specific book.  Think of it as marketing for a book in your classroom.  You are wanting to share with the students why they should read the book without giving away any important spoilers!

The thing I love most about book talks is that not only can teachers be the ones to do them, but students can as well!  Teachers can use book talks to get students interested in new literature that has been added to the classroom.  Students can also do book talks to share their favorite books with their classmates!

Book talks don’t take tons of planning but just a little pre-thinking to make sure you know exactly what angle to use and what exactly you want to say about the book.

Benefits of a Book Talk

Book talks by teachers or by students have loads of benefits for everyone involved.

  • They get students excited to read a book.  This is the best benefit of them all.  We want our students to be intrinsically motivated to read and book talks can help make this happen!
  • They are quick and easy to plan and implement.  This isn’t some huge lesson you are creating.  It’s simply taking 5-7 minutes to think through your approach on what you want to say and then deliver!
  • Book talks that are done by students definitely help with public speaking.  I could never find time for the speaking and listening standards and now I can through student-led book talks!
  • Working on specific writing or reading standards?  What better way to show students these skills in action than through strong mentor texts.  You can highlight these skills and objectives through the book talk!

Want to snag a free book talk planning page?  Enter your home email below and it’s all yours!

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Tips for your first book talk

There is no right or wrong way to do a book talk.  So jump in there and have fun!  I do have some important tips that can help you out!

  • Don’t show the students the book.  This keeps them in suspense about whether or not they have heard the book.  At the end of the book talk is when you can reveal the book cover, title, and author!
  • Make sure to spend lots of time modeling book talks before you have your students jump in themselves.  Model it the right way and the wrong way (according to your standards) so the students know exactly what their expectations should be!
  • Start and end with a hook.  A hook about the book at the beginning grabs the readers’ attention and a look at the end gets them even more motivated to want to read the book!
  • Keep it short!  Remember you’re not giving a review or a book report but rather persuading your class to be excited about this new book in your library!  Keep it concise and engaging!
  • Prepare your book talks while you read.  Record your reactions, thoughts, questions, and favorite moments so you have it all to share with your students.

I hope this was enough information to get you started!  Remember there are no right or wrong ways to do a book talk – just do them and have fun!  The ultimate goal is to get your students excited to read.  If they do that, then you’re doing them right!  Make sure to save this post by pinning the image below!

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I’m a wife, a mommy of 3, blogger, and a full time teacher author and presenter. I love to read, shop, and spend time with my family! My hands are always busy, but my heart is so full!

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