Strategies for reading success
A booktalk is an
energetic discussion about a book done with a class, groups
or an individual student. Booktalks can happen at any time
throughout the school day, linked to any block in which
reading is important.
What is a
booktalk? A booktalk is an energetic discussion
about a book or books, done with a whole class, small
groups, or an individual student. It is strategically
designed to yield big results. First, it can get students
enthused about reading. A good booktalk practically makes
books fly off the shelf and into the hands of students who
might not have chosen them otherwise. Second, a booktalk
gives students a greater understanding of the range of books
available to them, and sometimes teens need this head start.
Third, it makes the initial connection between the student’s
prior knowledge and the book’s content. Reading
comprehension is enhanced by these real connections between
reader and text.
of booktalks There is no standard set of rules to
follow for a booktalk. When you conduct one, you can do any
of the following:
Share a single book or a range of books by one author or
within a genre.
Share details about the life of the author and/or
Talk about the setting and characters in the book.
Read the first three pages of the book ‒ enough to get
Read a paragraph or two and discuss your predictions about
Read the book flap or the back cover and discuss your
initial feelings about the information you find there.
Connect the book to events in your life, hoping students
will make connections to their lives as well.
Compare the book to other books you have read or you have
read as a class.
Compare the book to other titles by the same author.
Share how the book made you feel.
Make eye contact with the audience.
Leave your audience hungry to get its hands on the book.
can range in length from one to five minutes. As a rule of
thumb, the booktalks should be as short or long as they need
to be to achieve your ultimate goal: getting students
excited about reading the book.