Reading project ideas
Project Ideas for Reading | American Federation of Teachers
Many of these ideas are excerpted from "Share with a Flare" by Anne Semple Bruce, Blue Ribbon Press.
Most projects will be related in some way to comprehension, understanding genres and developing dispositions to enjoy reading, read for daily living and/or read for information.
- Visual arts and crafts
- Performing arts and drama
- Written language
- Other Activities
Audiotape a book or play for the visually impaired. Students first read the book, discuss its message, characters, and whether there are changes of mood that should be reflected as it is read. Pronunciations and meanings for unfamiliar words are clarified. Different students read dialogue for particular characters as such dialogue appears. The audiotape is presented to an appropriate institution or program in the community. (Comprehension, vocabulary and fluency are all addressed. )
How do I know it? Let me show the ways! Books/stories/information from articles are retold in other creative formats (plays, newspapers, comic books, puppet shows, song and dance, illustrated guides, etc.) and shared with an appropriate audience. Reading the targeted text and group discussion precedes the selection of the project(s) by different teams.
Romeo, Juliet, who would you be today? Reset a Shakespearean play into modern day and retell the story. Play reading and discussion for comprehension precedes the transformation.
Books as Calls to Action. Stories and songs arouse emotions. Emotions often spur a desire to do something. Discuss the fact that there are universal themes that authors use to create the conflicts or problems at the center of great literature. After eliciting several of these themes (greed, injustice, poverty, discrimination, war, love, selfishness, overcoming obstacles, fear, etc.) present students with a choice of books to read (e. g., To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, Grapes of Wrath, The Diary of Anne Frank, etc.). Their discussions should tie the theme to modern problems. Students can plan a debate on how society should deal with the problem, an informative exhibit or event, or a service project to help alleviate the basic problem. An alternate approach is to have them select a theme and assign a book dealing with that theme.
Is Shakespeare Still Relevant? Students read at least one of Shakespeare’s plays and identify the universal theme, which will still be relevant today. They then select a way to convince an audience of their opinions. Lends itself to debate, resetting in modern times, finding articles in newspapers (current and archived) and highlighting (and giving meaning to) quotes to think about today.
Extend the Reading. Students or groups of students can extend the reading of a common text from different perspectives and using different talents to reveal their understanding by engaging in any of these activities.
Visual arts and crafts
Advertisement to buy or read a book—Be prepared to explain what in the advertisement will attract people. Think about what in the book might attract people with different interests and backgrounds.
Award for the book—Awards are often certificates or plaques. What about the book deserves an award? What kind of award does it deserve?
Book jacket—The jacket should give a brief summary—but not give away the ending! It should also say something about the author.
Bulletin board or posters—List the funniest jokes or riddles from books, or amazing facts; the display is interactive and can grow over time as children add to it.
Chalk talk—Using chalk on a chalkboard or markers on a white board, briefly retell the story in pictures while simultaneously relating it orally.
Collage—Show the important ideas, events or characters—Be sure you can tell why each part of the collage is there. What was its importance? All of the pieces together could present a message. What would it be for this book?
Cartoon or graphic novel of the story or part of it—Does the cartoon version illustrate the important events and feelings?
Costume for a character—Why is this an appropriate costume? Be able to tell us about the character in terms of who he/she is and about the setting of the story that would bring images of this costume.
Diorama—It should portray several important scenes that allow you to retell highlights of the story as seen in the diorama.
Family tree of a character—Some stories will not lend themselves to this very well. Choose only if a family tree is important to the story.
Illustration of a setting, favorite part or amazing or important facts—Be able to explain all you can about what you have illustrated. Was it the most important setting? The first? The last? What about the fact is amazing or important?
Map of the setting or a character’s journey—As you point out different sites on the map, can you relate what happened there?
Mask of a character—Help others know the character. Who was he or she? What part did the character play in the story? Do you know someone like this character?
Mobile of story elements (story grammar)—Mobiles can be made from separate pieces of paper, on a cube, a balloon, or beach ball that can be hung with each element visible. Important parts of the story should be highlighted. These may include characters, setting, problem, solution, plot and theme. Very young children may use a simpler format of story beginning, middle and end.
Mural—Be sure you can tell what the mural shows and why you picked these things to be part of it.
Painting—Paint a scene; a part you liked, the turning point in the story, characters or illustrate an amazing or new fact you learned. Share why you chose what you did and what part it (they) played in the story as a whole.
Poster illustrating milestone events—Be able to explain their importance.
Puppet of a character—Create a puppet and be prepared to tell everyone about this character and its place in the book. Since it is a puppet, tell it from the perspective of the character through the mouth of the puppet.
Scrapbook based on information or events in the book—For this you will have to imagine the sequence of events and imagine artifacts or articles that might have been written as the events of the story unfolded.
Three-dimensional characters made of stuffed socks or other material—Tell about the characters and their place in the story or have them talk about themselves and their acquaintances.
PowerPoint presentation based on information from the book or retelling the story—This venue may be more appropriate for nonfiction books.
Research—Books and stories can be used to prompt research on the times, places and customs from the stories, to compare characters to historical figures or to find items in today’s news that relate to the story. Such research should at the very least be presented to the rest of the class, perhaps inviting parents or community members or displayed as an exhibit in the hall.
Performing arts and drama
Design and perform:
Accompaniment to a retelling or reading of the story—Consider sound effects or music.
Choral reading of poetry.
Graphics or use ready-made graphics—Use them to highlight parts of the story or to retell it.
Interview with a character or with the author—This requires a partner, one to be the interviewer and one the interviewee. Try to think of what people listening to the interview would like to know.
Memorize and recite a passage from the book—Be able to tell what happened before and after this passage and what its significance is to the storyline. Several students could memorize favorite passages and present them at appropriate times as a narrator tells the whole story.
Original song or rap about the story—Be sure to pick up an important idea and know how it fits with the whole story if it does not tell the whole story.
Oral critique of the story or topics related to the story that have been researched—what made it interesting or not interesting; were the characters believable or were they meant to take you out of the world into fantasy and did they do that; what do you think of the theme of the story; would you want to read other books like this or by this author? This could be done as a panel show.
Oral directions of how to make or do something from the book—If possible, pick something that the audience will actually be able to make while you speak.
Pantomime the story, a scene, or a character for others who have read the book—Have the audience ask yes or no questions if they need clues.
Parade of characters from one book or a variety of books—Each character can tell about what he or she does in the story and how it all turns out from the character’s perspective. They could tell something that happened to them and ask the audience to identify the book or story.
Play—Create a short play that summarizes the story and act it out using props and costumes (could be a spare tie, hat or ribbon).
Radio commercial—This is similar to a written advertisement but must be done with only sound. How can you make readers want to buy or borrow this book in up to 60 seconds time?
Reader’s theatre—Students develop scripts, perform in groups and practice using their voice to depict characters from texts.
Story retelling orally to a group—Can you use your own words as a storyteller to get them interested? Can you create suspense, excitement or calm? Can you make them think the story is happening right there?
Talk show featuring the book or the author or a character from the book—Someone will be the host and others will play the author and readers and respond to questions.
Television commercial—Sell the book or a play about the book. Visuals are needed and could be produced as PowerPoint or a story board.
Travel lecture about a particular setting or location in the book, using visual aids.
Videotaped retelling or re-enactment of a scene—Live performance is preferable.
Alphabet book or large poster with boxes for each letter of the alphabet with something corresponding to the story for each letter.
Autobiography of a character.
Book review or critique of the book—similar to oral project but written so it can be part of an exhibition.
Biography of the author or illustrator.
Copy passages or phrases from the book that are particularly memorable or well written—Keep such passages in a special journal or share on a poster with why you think they are special.
Crossword puzzle or acrostic—Create by using vocabulary or important characters, events or facts from the book.
Diary or journal of a character—Pretend that you are the character in the book. As each part of the story progresses, write an entry from the viewpoint of the character.
Game questions—Create questions based on the story that could be used in a game like Jeopardy or Twenty Questions.
Investigation—Does something in the reading make you curious about your own community or the people you know? Conduct a poll or gather data to find out. Display the data and interpret it for an audience.
Letter to one of the characters—This letter should focus on something that happens in the story to that character, expressing sympathy, outrage, desire to help, request, or questioning something that has been said or done. Your letter should show that you understand the story.
Letter to the author—What would you say to the author about the story? Did you enjoy it? Were you confused by something? Did it make you think or feel strongly? Did it make you think about something in your life?
Letters between characters—Imagine one character writing to another in the story. Think about their relationship. What might they each say to the other? Be prepared to explain why they would write what they do.
Math story problem drawn from the story—In many stories there are references to numbers or shapes or chance. If there are some in your book, can word problems be written about them? (Be sure to provide the solutions.)
Newspaper or newspaper article—Select an event and act as a local reporter. Write an article for the newspaper that captures what was happening. For historic reading, a whole newspaper page or two may be in order reporting on various aspects of the day.
New title for the book—Do you think the book could have a different title? Propose a new title and tell why you think it would be more appropriate than the one it has.
Opinion and proof—Write an opinion about a character or about a piece of information in a non-fiction book and then cite evidence from the book to support your opinion.
Organize a community project—If your reading has brought to mind a need in the community that young people can help with, organize a group for community service and carry it out (e.g., food or clothing collection, visiting the elderly, stories or songs on DVD, cleaning up the neighborhood, etc.).
Persuasive article or speech about the book or a subject explored in the book—Try to convince others to agree with your position on the topic explored or to take action about something the book has addressed.
Poem about a character or event in the book—Look at various forms of poetry such as acrostics, haiku, odes, etc.
Propose legislation—If the reading revealed a need in the community, propose a piece of legislation to correct what is wrong. Support your proposal with logical arguments.
Reference book—Create it from information learned in the book and related books.
Riddles about characters or events—Share them with an audience.
Sequel or prequel to the story—What happened before the book began? After it ended?
Story rewrite—Can you put a new ending on the story? At what point in the current book will the new ending begin to unfold? Why do you like this ending?
Create or use a(n):
Book talk—Discuss several books that will entice other students to read them.
Book discussion, book club or literature circle to talk about the book with others—Books on some topics may lead to debates or campaigns.
Book fair—Have students showcase titles, authors and genres they’ve read.
Build or create something from the story—Pick something that is interesting to students. For example, a book about dogs might lend itself to building a doghouse; a book about frontier days might produce a rag or straw doll; a book about a million might lead to collecting or creating a million of something.
Edible book fair—Students can prepare or bring in a dish that relates to the book. For example, food arrangement or cake baked in the shape of the main character (works well if it’s an animal), or a character’s favorite dish, or food appropriate to a setting, or a type of food that’s discussed in the book such as corn in a book about Midwest farming or Tang orange drink in a book about space exploration, or even food that’s a pun on the title such as a cheese dip called “Velveeta Rabbit” based on the book “The Velveteen Rabbit”.
Graphic organizer to categorize and relate ideas—When using any of these be prepared to explain to the audience what is written to help them understand the story, important aspects and relationships, or the author’s devices.
- Story map
- Character map
- Semantic feature analysis
- Plot graph
- Timeline or calendar
Artifacts—Have them relate to the subject such as confederate currency in a book about the Civil War or shells in a book about the seashore.
Organize a community project—If your reading has brought to mind a need in the community that young people can help with, organize a group for community service and carry it out (e.g., food or clothing collection, visiting the elderly, stories or songs on DVD, cleaning up the neighborhood, etc.).
Research the topic of the book, the time period or the author—Present the information to others in an interesting way.
Read similar books—Select books by the same author, in the same series, on the same topic, or on the same topic but in a different genre such as nonfiction or poetry and compare to the original book.
End of the Year Reading Projects
If you're looking up end of the year reading projects, then that means something amazing – summer is approaching! This time of year always re-energizes me because state testing is behind us, summer is ahead of us, and we get to have some fun in the moment.
One of my favorite ways to end the school year is with some sort of reading project. Throughout the years, I have tried out several different reading projects and even created some of my own along the way. I want to share some of the projects I have used with students that always get a student vote of approval!
Inferencing Reading Project
For this inferencing project, I take my students on an (imaginary) trip to Camp Conundrum! This is always a class favorite. While on this camping trip, students will make inferences using pictures, snippets of conversations that they have heard, clues about a missing camp bag and more. Inferencing is always a tough skill, so I love having this end of year review for students.
This one is a classic! If your students have recently read a novel in class or independently, then this book report is perfect. A book jacket is the cover that wraps around a hardback book. You can put a mix of different items on the book jacket, such as a summary, review of the book, suggested other books, and more! This blog gives you some templates and ideas for using book jackets in your classroom.
Context Clues Reading Project
I absolutely love using this in my classroom. With this project, students take a transcontinental trek while practicing different context values skills! One thing I like most about this project is that it allows students to practice context clues in different ways. They will practice with nonsense words, dictionary definitions, multiple meaning words, fill in the blank, and more. It really stretches my students thinking beyond a multiple choice question.
Susan Ledford Guilfoyle shared, “Today my 4th graders were world travelers. We traveled to Peru, and visited Machu Picchu, then Germany were we toured the Brandenburg Gate. We then flew to Kenya and went on Safari, next was New Zeland and finally Ireland where we explored The Giant's Causeway before flying back to America. Students had to complete activities at each stop that challenged their ability to use context clues to figure out word meanings within a text, such as postcards to friends, hotel reviews, safari brochures and tourists reviews of sights. The kids worked hard loved flying in our airplane.”
Anytime I use storyboards in my classroom, my students ask to use it more! Storyboards can be used in several ways, but here are two that are great for an end of the year activity: you can have students recreate a pivotal element from a recent book (climax or conflict) or students can create their own story following the plot map. You can do storyboards on paper or digitally. I like using this website for digital storyboards.
Sequencing Reading Project
Sequencing is a great end of year skill to review. My students enjoy this sequencing project where they tag along to a pool party bash. They will practice sequencing and sequence of events using activities like following a recipe, creating goodie bags, and arranging the events of the party. This is a great activity for small groups, so students can get interactive with this project.
Point of View Reading Project
Lots of time point of view can be really surface level, such as simply identifying. This project, however, challenges students to think critically about point of view. In this project, students will be planning the concert of the year using point of view. They will describe what it’s like to be at a concert, determine the point of view in song lyrics, analyze different concert attendees' perspectives, and more! This is great for all the music lovers in your classroom.
This is a really fun end of the year goal setting activity. Give students a piece of paper with a blank grid on it (ex. 5×5 grid). Then, have some fun! One way is have students fill in the grid with their personal book goals. Alternatively, have students walk around the class swapping papers. Other students in the room will write down a book goal on the grid. A book goal can be a specific book (Harry Potter), genre (fiction), or challenge (pink book, book with over 200 pages) to read. Then, students will try to make a Bingo on their board by the end of the year. Bonus tip: As the teacher, add the center spot with your reading goal of choice.
Text Structures Reading Project
Get ready to race in this text structures project! This end of the year reading project is a perfect way to review a tricky concept. This project challenges students to answer comprehension questions based on text structures, complete graphic organizers, generate summaries, and much more. Best part: it’s all racing themed which adds in a layer of fun!
Susan's students enjoyed this one too! She said, “My 4th graders raced into text structure today. They read articles about different kinds of races, race cars, tracks and gear to figure out the main idea, the author's main point and what text structure it was written in as well as why the author chose that text structure.”
More End of the Year Ideas
Hopefully you found a few end of the reading projects that will work for your students! I have another blog post that covers end of the year activities for other subjects, such as math and science. You can check out that blog post here!
Post Views: 4,423
100 projects for reading - Libraries of the Vladimir region
In 2015, an atlas called "100 projects to support reading" was published. The publication was implemented with the support of the Russian Book Union, with the participation of the Program of the Education Support Fund "Gymnasium Union of Russia". The project leaders were professors of St. Petersburg State University Galaktionova Tatyana Gelievna and Kazakova Elena Ivanovna.
The main goal of the project is to capture the characteristic trends and ways of developing a culture of reading in the space of national education, librarianship and museum work, business and charity.
The atlas presented both implemented and planned projects aimed at introducing the younger generation to reading. The main selection criteria were such parameters as relevance, originality, realism. The project made it possible to see how much is being done throughout Russia to confirm the status of a reading country.
In 2016, the cultural and educational atlas was named "100 Reading Projects". Experience has shown that the modern situation with regard to reading has begun to acquire a certain positive dynamic, and therefore the project leaders decided to change the name.
The geography of the atlas has also expanded significantly. The collection included several foreign projects. One of the achievements was also a significant reduction in the average age of authors, among whom schoolchildren appeared.
In 2017, the project merged with the Cultural Map of Russia program and was enriched with information about reader initiatives from 84 regions of the country, including the Vladimir region. So, in 2017, the project of the “Vladimir Regional Scientific Library” was presented - “A Year with K. D. Balmont”.
Since 2018, the Russian Book Union and the Russian State Pedagogical University. A. I. Herzen began the implementation of a large-scale initiative aimed at creating an informal youth community of reading volunteers. The 2018 atlas contains the best reading projects for young people. The Vladimir region was represented by the regional library for children and youth with the project of the traveling exhibition "Russian Revolution of 1917: Vladimir Province".
Atlases "100 Reading Projects" combine the resources of education, librarianship, publishing and bookselling business. On its pages there are individual author's ideas and a large-scale scope of regional experience, debut projects of schoolchildren and professional searches for masters.
All projects, which occupy 1-2 pages, are presented in a convenient format, structured according to the principle: idea - implementation - prospects. An accessible and lively description makes the publication interesting for different categories of readers: teachers, librarians, cultural workers, parents.
Atlases will help you find new ideas and forms to attract and work with readers, inspire your own projects and actions.
Archive of issues posted on the website of the Reading Center of the Russian National Library
Issue 2015Methodical piggy bank
6 weekend project ideas
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The fastest way to learn a programming language or framework is to create a working project. University of Tennessee Associate Professor Austin Henley has collected project ideas on his blog that he recommends to students and professional developers:
- Text editor.
- Two-dimensional game.
- Small operating system.
- Spreadsheet (task with an asterisk).
- Video game console emulator (also difficult).
The post received 300 upvotes on Hacker News and 100 comments on Reddit. Henley supplemented the selection with ideas from the comments. They are listed at the end of the post.
We use text editors every day, but how do they work? Let's forget about fancy functions for a while. How to display a window with a text field? How to create a blinking text cursor? So that it moves and highlights the text . To insert and delete new characters. Without ready-made text components, where everything was invented by other developers.
Memory . How to save a text document in memory? The first thought is to use an array. But the array has terrible performance. Unless the user is a robot that only adds text to the end of the document. Explore other data structures and decide which one works best.
Cursor behavior . Let the cursor marker blink in the middle of the text field. If you press the up arrow key
↑ , where does it move to? In the same character column? Optional: if the line is short, you need to put the cursor at the end of the line. But as soon as a longer string is encountered, the marker must return to the original column. Otherwise, when moving up, the pointer will move to the left edge.
In commercial editors, the cursor "remembers" the original horizontal position, and as soon as possible, returns to the nearest position. You don't notice these details until you get down to business.
Expanding the set of functions. And so we print and delete text in the editor, select lines and words, the cursor blinks and rushes around the screen. What else to try? Two tasks: 1) undoing and repeating actions, 2) wrapping words into syllables.
How to record activities with minimal memory consumption? You don't think right away. Henley described how he came to a decision. At first I tried to store states in an array, then I tried the Guardian design pattern (English Memento). Finally settled on the Command.The task of wrapping words by syllables will make you think about how a string is stored in memory, and how it is represented.
What topics will you understand:
- Data structures for storing text: array, rope, buffer window, piece table.
- Text cursor behavior and implementation.
- Design patterns for undo/redo.
- Data structure considerations for a text editor.
- Step by step development of a text editor in C++.
To create even a primitive game, you need to choose a data structure and a design pattern. Without getting bogged down in game design, implement a 2D game from start to finish. For example, clone Space Invaders (Russian Space Invaders). It is better to take a 2D graphics library: SDL for C, PyGame for Python or SFML for Java, C#, Go. Otherwise, a powerful game engine will hide everything interesting.
Game loop . The game is a cycle with conditions. Three actions are continuously taking place in the program: rendering, receiving data from the user, processing game logic. The user presses the keys and clicks the mouse. The game logic determines how the new data will change the behavior of the objects. Characters move on the screen - the user presses other buttons.
Rendering . Learn to draw character movement. To create the effect of moving objects, images on the screen must quickly replace each other.
The player is attacking . How to count single click and double click? If the user held down an arrow key, should the object move faster? How often is user input checked?
Game logic . The behavior of the characters is described by the logic of the game. How to dynamically update the number of enemies? The factory method will do. When and how do bullet positions change? How to know that the enemy is defeated? When does the game end?
What else? The base of the game is ready - add a menu and a title screen. Make sure the game runs at the same speed on different computers. Create more interesting enemies with the help of artificial intelligence. Add shader effects, sound and online multiplayer.
- 8 lessons I learned from making 8 games
More ideas in the Game Development tag.
Compiler for Tiny BASIC
Write your own simple language compiler, eg Tiny BASIC. Let the compiler translate it into a language you like. For example, write a Tiny BASIC compiler in Python that outputs C# code. You don't need to create an assembly. Especially if you are not interested. Focus on broadcast.
Procedure . Build the compiler in the same order in which it will work on the source code. Each stage implies its own tool and its own set of algorithms.
1. At the stage of lexical analysis , the tokenizer groups the elements of the source sequence into predetermined categories.
2. Parser converts a sequence of tokens into a structured format.
3. At the stage of semantic analysis, the program checks that the code makes sense and that the rules of the language are followed. If everything is in order, an intermediate representation is created.
4. Code generator from the intermediate representation generates code in the target language.
How to improve? To improve the compiler, optimization step should be added between steps 3 and 4. It is necessary to eliminate unnecessary constructions and simplify the code while maintaining its meaning. Once you have a basic compiler, teach the program to work with the standard library. And let the compiler not only find errors in case of incorrect code, but also display meaningful messages.
What topics will you understand:
- Lexical analysis.
- Syntactic analysis (parsing).
- Recursive descent method.
- Abstract syntax tree.
- Semantic analysis.
- Optimizing compiler.
- Code generation.
- Let's Build a Compiler Online Tutorial.
- Electronic manual for creating interpreters (eng.).
- BASIC interpreter repository written in C#.
- 6 books on compilers.
Small operating system
The algorithms and data structures of operating systems seem abstract and useless only within the classroom. Having created an operating system, you will confidently master in practice everything that happens inside. It's especially nice to run your own programs on an operating system that you've created yourself from scratch.
Here is a short list of topics you will understand:
- Cross compilation
- Operating system loader
- BIOS interrupts
- Processor operating modes
- Memory management and paging
- Planning, e. g. round-robin
- File systems (e.g. FAT)
- How Operating Systems Work
- OSDev.org wiki
- Building an Operating System with Rust
The task of creating a spreadsheet application combines elements of the two projects described above: a text editor and a compiler.
Text editor . The amount of information in the cells can be different. When selecting a separate cell, the presentation of information should take into account not only its contents , but also links , highlight functions and operators .Sample spreadsheet application with added Python functionality
Compiler . A spreadsheet cell can contain functions, variables, references to other cells, constants, and operators. In this case, functions can act on a vector or a two-dimensional array of values. In general, each cell is the same as a small program. Therefore, we need a compact compiler that will perform all the necessary conversions and checks, giving out the final values.
To implement your own spreadsheets, you might find these articles helpful:
- Rick Lamers explains how he combined spreadsheets and Python for Data Science purposes.
- Directed acyclic graph.
- Reactive programming.
Video game console emulator
Let's continue the idea of the project with two-dimensional games. Where could we meet such games besides slot machines? on game consoles. A special fan is writing a console emulator that can run games invented by other developers. Such a project combines the creation of a compiler and an operating system.
The emulator is a virtual machine that pretends to function like the hardware components of a game console. Therefore, it can run games designed for the console.
CHIP-8 . Henley recommends starting with CHIP-8 emulation. This is a simple virtual console for which it is easy to find emulation examples. Then you can move on to emulating real consoles, like Dendy or Sega. They will have to take into account the features of specific equipment.PICO-8 emulator example
PICO-8 . Since the emulator is a virtual machine, it is not necessary for the console to actually exist. Fifteen hundred games are written for the $15 PICO-8 emulator. Try creating a free version of the emulator and see how the virtual cartridges start up. If you have children, coding games for such emulators is an opportunity to get them interested in programming.
Emulation examples for different languages and consoles:
- Writing a Chip-8 emulator
- How to emulate Game Boy
- PyBoy source code
Users from HackerNews, Reddit, Twitter, and others sent Austin Henley the following project ideas:
- Database Management System (11 database schemas)
- Ray tracer.