Book Reviews: Finding an Authentic Audience for Reader’s Workshop

I am currently finishing up the second time I’ve taught literary terms through the reader’s workshop model. I’ve loved both times. One thing that I reflected on after my first time teaching with this model was that my students needed more of an authentic audience for their final assessments/creations. So, this go-round students are writing book reviews. We are then posting those book reviews in two places:

  • School Media Center:
    • As shortened links and QR codes in our school media center inside the hard copies of the actual book that each student read. This way, all future students who pick up the book will have a guide to answer the question, “Will I like this book?”
  • Amazon Customer Reviews:
    • As reviews on the listing of the book for purchase on Amazon. I am doing this under my account since my students are too young to do this themselves.

My students are very excited for this interaction and the real audiences that they will reach. More importantly than just simply reaching an audience other than their teacher or classmates, my students know that they will actually be helping inform someone’s decision!

I think that having authentic audiences is a powerful way to motivate and engage students. Even more so, knowing that those authentic audiences will use the product is even better!

Overall, writing a book review and publishing to several places beats writing another boring book report that only your teacher will see.


Author: karinhogen

I teach middle school language arts and run an Edtech company, DocentEDU, on the side. Every day is an adventure in my classroom with technology!

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