Pick Me! Book Folder Presentation

For years, at the end of the year, I struggled to find something engaging and academic to fill in the last week of school, which for us includes end of year picnics, practice for our fifth grade promotion ceremony, and down time in between. I like to keep lessons and academic activities going right until the last second so that things aren't totally chaotic.

Last year, I came up with the idea of a "Pick Me! Book Folder Presentation". Students are able to choose any book that they have read during the school year, including the chapter books I have read aloud throughout the year. They use the folder to present the book to next year's students. I call it the "Pick Me! Book Folder Presentation" because it's their job to make my future students want to read the book that they are presenting. They are encouraged to be creative, are asked to make their work bright and colorful, and must include the following:
  • The title of the book and author's name the front with an illustration that represents their favorite part from the book. 
  • An interesting book preview on the inside of the folder. Students are asked not to give the ending away, but to write an interesting preview paragraph that will convince the student reading the folder that this could be the best book of their fifth grade year. 
  • Present five parts of the book that they can't resist. This can include the setting, characters that they like, a part that they really enjoyed, anything. They can present this as a list, make a collage, draw pictures, print pictures off of a computer, etc. Creativity is encouraged!
  • Word splash! Students are asked to write down 10-15 words that are related to their story, then go to www. wordle.net and create a word cloud that they will print and glue into their folder.
  • Extra! Extra! Students have to come up with their own "extra" to include. It can be anything they want, but must represent the book in some way. Past selections have included dog collars to represent a dog character, swords (made out of pipe cleaner) to represent a favorite battle in their story, an additional illustration, a map of the setting, and more. The sky is the limit on this one. 
I have now done this for two years and my students love it! It's a great way to keep them focused and engaged, allow them some creativity, and really sums up a lot of their reading skills and strategies! I do not ask them to put the folders in any certain order, with the exception of the title and author name being on the front with an illustration, and the book preview being somewhere on the inside. 

If you are interested, I have this as a freebie here:

Here are some examples: 

A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin, 2 different examples: 
                Front of Folder                                                     Inside the Folder

Back of Folder


The Anybodies by N.E. Body
 For this one, she created a diary for her favorite character. Loved it! 

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass:

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell:

As you can see, these came out really awesome. What's even better is that they made the perfect display for back to school night!

This year, I am also going to put the books next to each folder presentation on the first day of school, so that students can actually sign the books out on the first day if they want. It's been such a success that I might do these sometime during the year as well, perhaps to allow students to persuade their own classmates to read a book they've read halfway through the year. If they enjoy it and they are engaged, it's definitely worth considering how I can use it more often without overusing it. 

I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer break! We've just finished a family vacation and now I'm enjoying a little down time. With a heat index of 108 predicted, I'm going to stay inside and enjoy the central air today! 


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