Inspire a love of reading in your kids with book reports that are fun, simple, and creative! Enjoy these great book report templates for kindergarten & 1st grade, and try some of these great book report tips and ideas!
What Grade Should Kids Start Doing Book Reports?
Book reports offer a great opportunity for kids of all ages to learn, discuss, and present. There’s value in teaching this skill to kids at the earliest ages, but for the love of crayons please don’t get too academic too quickly.
If you want to try book reports with your youngest kiddos, your #1 goal should be FUN! Yes, I say it all the time and I”ll continue saying it forever. Focus on the fun! So what age is good to start doing book reports? Younger is just fine, as long as it’s fun.
“Book reports” can really start as soon as toddler age. When you read books to your little 3 year old, ask some questions about what’s happening along the way. When the book is done, talk about the characters in the book, what it would be like to live in the setting, and what was the most exciting part. You just helped your toddler complete an oral book report! Want to go further as your toddlers grow up – without going too far? Draw a picture together of the characters and even try acting out the story. What a fun start to book reports that’s creative and full of precious mommy & me time!
Kindergarten Book Reports
If you’re looking into Kindergarten book reports, your starting point should be the same: FUN! Even by age 6, the physical act of writing can be difficult and even painful for kids. Don’t force your kiddo to write too much and work on a book report for too long. Portion a book report into appropriate size projects and keep it simple. Continue your process of asking questions, getting excited to hear your child’s recount of the story, and talk about what the characters went through.
Kindergarten Book Reports can look like a simple one page report. Have your child write the title of the book at the top of a blank piece of paper. Lead them to draw the cover of the book or a favorite scene or character. Inspire them to write one or two phrases or sentences (if they’re ready) at the bottom of the paper about their favorite part of the book. Show them the names of the Author and Illustrator of the book. Make kindergarten book reports simple and one-page assignments and don’t stress about doing them all in one sitting.
Keep Book Reports Simple To Make Reading Fun
The goal here for our younger kids is to help them LOVE reading. That means keeping things positive from the start and using “mommy time” to make reading a special thing. Your time is the most valuable thing to them, so spending time reading to them, with them, alongside them – this all helps them love reading. Once they love reading, you’ve given them the foundation they’ll need to tolerate more academic book reports when they’re older.
1st Grade Book Reports
First grade is such an exciting time for kids! They’re able to do a little bit more schoolwork at a time (think 20 minute activities at this age with plenty of variety.) First grade book reports can be a little more in depth, but – you know what I’m going to say here – still keep it FUN!
Use creative book reports like making puppets from the characters, a play dough replica of a scene or setting, a mini book with drawings from what happened in the story, a creative lapbook book report project, and so on. Cover just the basics in your 1st grader’s book report like title, author, illustrator, characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end.
Remember that even though your 1st grader is probably writing phrases and sentences at this point, they will most likely still struggle with handwriting. Don’t push them to do too much writing – 2 to 3 sentences is a big assignment for them. If you want them to write more than that, try breaking up the book report assignment over a period of days.
Creative Book Report Ideas
Keep it super fun by using creative book report ideas. A book report doesn’t have to always be a writing assignment. Book reports are great ways to use many different learning styles and skills. The goal of a book report is to be able to identify the key elements of a story and present them back to someone. So any project that accomplishes this is a win!
Ideas for creative book reports:
- Character puppet: Choose a character from the story and make a paper bag puppet of them. Write the title of the story and the author/illustrator on the back of the paper bag. Have your child use the puppet to tell the beginning, middle, and end of the story to your family.
- Playdough diorama scene: Discuss the setting of the story. Direct your child to recreate a scene from the book, focusing on the details of the setting. They can add characters too!
- Mini Book: Fold a piece of paper in half twice to make a mini book. Have your child draw the cover of the book and write the title. Then use the remaining three pages to draw a scene from the beginning, middle, and end of the book. If they’re ready, they can add one simple phrase or sentence to each page to tell what happened. Have your child use the mini book to help them tell the family about the story. This is a great thing to present at the dinner table for sharing board time.
- Pit & Peak: This is a really simple idea for kids who can’t tolerate a large assignment. Have your child draw a pit and peak on a plank piece of paper – a mountain connected to a valley. Write the title of the book at the top of the page. Inside the mountain write/draw about their favorite or most exciting part of the book. Inside the valley, have them write/draw about the part they liked least.
- Story Chain: This one is for kids who are comfortable writing sentences, but don’t want to write a long paper. Make strips of construction paper of any color. Help your kiddo think of the events of the story in the order they happened. Write each event on a separate strip of paper and create a chain with them – connecting them in order. Want to go further with this? Use two different colors – one for main events, and one for minor events. You could start the chain with a strip for title, one for author, one for setting, and some for the characters in the book. Again, your child can use the chain to tell the family about the book.
- Evan Moor How To Report On Books: If you love creative book reports and want a steady supply of ideas for your kids, I highly recommend these workbooks. These are craft based book report templates your kids can use for their book reports. One thing to note, is that each book report tend to focus on one aspect of a book report – scene, characters, etc. This is a great way to begin talking about the different elements of a book without having to tackle all the ideas at once.
One Page Book Report Template
Keeping book reports simple and down to one page is a helpful approach to not overwhelming your child. Use a one page book report template to make things easy – and keep the FUN! While it’s perfectly ok to use a blank piece of paper as your starting point, a template is a low-prep way to help your child know exactly what to do. I’ve got plenty of free printable book report templates in the PK1Kids Subscriber Freebies Library:
Free Printable Book Report Templates:
If you’re looking for free printable book report templates for kids, take a look at a few that I’ve got inside my Subscriber Freebies Library. They’re completely free and come with the added bonus of getting access to all my other freebies on my site! Snag my free printable book report bookmarks, my free one page book report template, and my book report lapbook template for young kids.
Simple Book Report Ideas
I hope you’ve found plenty of simple book report ideas in this post. From the youngest ages you can lead your kids through oral questions and answers about any book you read to them. As your kids get older, begin highlighting the different elements of a story. A book report doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple idea of writing or drawing a few elements of a story on a blank piece of paper is a perfectly appropriate book report for your younger kids!
Here’s a simple book report idea you can use that’s low prep: Take a piece of paper and fold it into six squares. Label each square: Title & Author, Setting, Characters, Beginning, Middle, & End. Then have your child write and draw in each square. Get them used to doing simple book reports like this that aren’t intimidating, and your kids will love doing reports as they get older!
More Great Book Report Resources:
Book Report Lapbook from Homeschool Share
Free Book Report Template for Homeschool from Homeschool of 1
Books vs Movies – Compare and Contrast FREE Report Template from Homeschool of 1
How To Write A Book Report + FREE Printable Template For Kids from Blessed Homeschool
How We Do Book Reports – 4th Grade Literature from Monkey and Mom
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