Book reports can go beyond the mere reporting stages when ideas culminate in creative products like posters. They can often reflect a book's major ideas more accurately, too. Drawing them out gives students creative opportunities to show what they know, and how much. Posters can be fun options for book reports.

Book Jacket Poster

As the first point of contact a reader makes with a book, the jacket must capture the major themes and ideas--all the elements of a book report. Using poster-paper or poster-board, students fold it in half width-wise to draw a cover design on one side and the jacket back on the backside. The cover would typically have the book's title, author and a picture that reveals the main idea. Saving about an inch in the middle to separate and fold, students would draw the back side of the book to include "teaser" information that gives clues to the content with passages or quotes from characters. The inside of the cover would include more information, usually the beginning of the author's biography that continues to the back inside cover. The spine--the one-inch section in the middle--would have the title of the book written length-wise. The posters are hung around the classroom, attached to or hung on a line with a clothespin, so that all sides are visible.

Character Poster

For a character poster, students would select one or two of the book's major characters and draw them after thinking about their traits: those they share, those that make them individuals, strengths, weaknesses and traits the characters interact with, such as playfulness or silliness. For example, a strong character who helps or cares for another character might be demonstrated by physically carrying a weaker character. Students would consider strengths, weaknesses, friendship bonds, similarities, differences, physical appearance and life experiences when drawing their character traits. When finished, students may leave them as black-and-white sketches or color them, depending on the effect or impression they want to leave. If the book was sad, for example, leave it black-and-white; if funny, use color.

Sketch to Stretch Poster

The Sketch to Stretch strategy is a visual way for students in all grades to conceptualize a book. Younger students would sketch out ideas in response to listening to a story, and older students would respond while they read and when they finish a book. It's also a collaborative way for them to work out ideas and comprehend content, because once they finish sketching, they come together as a group to pool their ideas onto a poster, and then present it to the class in an explanation of the book. Once the book or story is finished, groups of students share their ideas with each other to explain their sketch by responding to the question: What did the book or story mean to you? When all group members understand the meaning behind each drawing, the drawings are transferred onto a large poster either through a collage by gluing students' sketches to the poster, or by drawing them again on the poster. Once finished, students explain their ideas to the class.