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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards

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Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



In this alternative to the traditional book report, students have to really understand a character from a book they have read in order to successfully communicate the essence of the character using a few words and symbols on a business card. They begin by discussing the details commonly found on business cards and looking at samples. They think about how font, colors, and logos can be used to represent their characters, as well as the taglines, products and services, and other details that could be included.  Students then use planning sheets to think through the elements they want to include on their business cards before creating the final version using a word processing program on the computer. Final copies of the business cards can be exchanged among students and given to the librarian for display.

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Planning Sheet for Business Card Book Reports: Have students use this guide to think through the elements on their characters' business cards before using the computer to design the final version.

Rubric for Business Card Book Reports: Use this rubric to assess students' business cards.

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In describing this activity, Gretchen Lee states "I like this activity because it forces the
students to think symbolically" (28). The students choose a font for their character or author, find icons or images for the character or author, and compose related text. These student representations of the character or author with their multifaceted texts using color, symbols, images, texts, and metaphor succeed in the classroom because they provide a snapshot of the students' comprehension of the ideas in the texts in a very concise form.

Further Reading

Adapted from: Gretchen Lee.  "Technology in the Language Arts Classroom: Is It Worth the Trouble?" Voices from the Middle 7.3 (March 2000): 24-32.

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