The conclusion is an important part of an elementary- or middle-school book report because it requires personal examination and commentary. As a parent, teacher or tutor, the goal is to help students learn how to end their reports by reflecting on the characters, themes, setting and plot. They should discuss what they learned or gained from the book and how the themes relate to present-day situations. Students should explain why they would or wouldn't recommend the book to their peers.

Revelations and Deeper Understandings

Encourage your students to consider turning points, outcomes and resolutions in their book report conclusions, according to Mildlink Magazine, sponsored by North Carolina State University and the University of Central Florida. Show how the plot and characters inspired a deeper understand of life events. For example, if your student is writing a conclusion for her report on Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," she might comment on how difficult life was for slaves and indentured servants, how destructive prejudices were and still are today or how orphaned children often feel abandoned and must learn to fend for themselves.

Significance of Important Themes

Ask students to focus on how the themes, morals and life lessons are still relevant today, according to Wanda Swenson, middle school language arts teacher at Sanborn Central School in Forestburg, South Dakota. Students should be able to apply messages from the book to their own lives. For example, if your student is writing a conclusion for his report on "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl, he might talk about how the book inspired him to be a loyal, trustworthy friend. Or, he might discuss the importance of teamwork and the value of fighting for a cause.

Author Evaluations

Help your students learn how to critically assess their books, including the author's purpose and intention. Encourage them to voice their opinions and support their viewpoints with quotes, scenes or examples from the book, suggests Melissa Reynoso, fifth-grade teacher at Sequoia Elementary School in Sacramento, California. For example, if your student read "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl, her conclusion might discuss how Dahl incorporated technology into the book -- the shrink machine and the ability to send chocolate bars through the TV -- to force readers to consider the pros and cons of technology. Or she might discuss Dahl's colorful, humorous characters, descriptive details and overall imagination-driven writing style.

Personal Recommendations

Instruct your students to include a personal recommendation in the conclusion. A personal recommendation is one of the most important elements in a book report conclusion. Encourage your students to discuss the mood and tone of the book and how the story makes them feel, according to the English department at Langston Hughes Middle School, part of the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. For example, the student might offer advice such as "Students who like adventurous plot lines and stories about beating the odds would enjoy 'The Boxcar Children' by Gertrude Chandler Warner." Or "I wouldn't recommend 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' by Washington Irving to anyone who doesn't like dark, mysterious settings and scary characters."