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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Creating Postcards for Fictional Settings

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Book Report Alternative: Creating Postcards for Fictional Settings

Grades 4 – 7
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute Sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



The setting of a book can transport the reader to a time long ago such as prehistoric Earth or a place far away such as the planet Jupiter.  It may transport the reader to a new world in the future reached only through one's imagination.  Though a critical part of any tale, the setting does not necesasrily lend itself to student creativity when reporting in the traditional format of a book report.  In this lesson students are given the opportunity to be imaginative as they create illustrated postcards that depict the one of the settings of their novel choices featuring journeys.  Furthermore, they communicate about the importance of the settings as they write the text of their postcards.

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Postcard Creator:  This student interactive will illustrate the parts of a postcard.

Recording the Setting Bookmark: Students will use this bookmark as they read their novels to record facts about the multiple settings of their books.

What Will I Read Next? Students will use this printout as they listen to each others’ reports to keep track of books they wish to remember for reading later.

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In 1998, Mitchell stated that “students tire of responding to novels in the same ways.”  In 2005 Voukon pointed out, “the tried and true one-size-fits-all conflict-action-climax book report” does not create excitement for reading. The opinions of these authors are still valuable when considering today’s students who are accustomed to images accompanying explanations.  Therefore, this lesson transforms the simple reporting of when and where a novel takes place into an engaging activity that includes images and text.

Mitchell, Diana. "Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report." English Journal 87.1 (January 1998): 92-95.

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