Creating a Booktalk for Your Independent Reading Project
Booktalk Do's and Don'ts
- Clearly tell the book title and author. It's best to repeat this both at the beginning and the end. For picture books, also tell the name of the illustrator.
- Find a "hook" - a scene, event, or circumstance that will intrigue your readers, show them what's special about the book, and make them want to know more.
- It could be a question
- It could be the first line or paragraph of the book - if it's a grabber.
- Add a personal touch...
- something to make the talk yours.
- also, let the readers know how the book relates to them.
- Choose a voice
- You can comment on the book,
- Or, for fiction books, you can become one of the characters (this works best if you like to act)
- Don't tell your readers that the book is a great book...
- Demonstrate that it is by what you tell about it.
- Never, ever, ever give away the end of a fiction book
- Make your audience want to read it to find out the end.
- This may also apply in nonfiction books that tell a story.
- Be well prepared.
- You don't need to memorize, but you have to sound natural. Don't sound like you are reading from a script. If you are recording for an online booktalk, you can read as long as the script isn’t visible and you make it sound like you aren't reading. •
- Keep it short.
- One minute is probably a good average length for a recorded talk.
- For live book talks, you might make it is a little longer, especially if you ask questions and get answers from your audience, but two minutes should be about the longest. •
- For a recorded book talk that will be online:
- Tell your first name only
- Get your parents' permission
- Do prepare a script you will read. Go over the script enough times to make it sound as if you aren't reading.
- Be sure to read and use the Booktalk tips above. Then, prepare a book talk script for your book. Your script will be graded.
- Get a copy of the book, and hold it during your talk. If you don’t want people to see your face, you can hold the book in front of your face. (You could also have the script hidden inside your book.)
- Have someone film you using Camera app on your phone, iMovie, or any other app that allows for making a movie.
- You can film yourself, but if you use Photobooth or a Webcam, make sure that you flip the photo so the image of your book cover appears in the correct direction and not mirrored.)
- When you are done recording, listen to your recording and save it if you are happy. If you aren’t, do it again until you are happy.
- Make sure you have your parents’ permission to publish your video online.
- Once you are finished, save your file as an mp3 or mp4 file. Then upload your video to YouTube, or upload the file to Google Drive, and share the file with Mrs. Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mrs. Lofton (email@example.com)
- Complete this Google Form: bit.ly/ClarkeBooktalks