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Book in a Bag Project – A Book Report Alternative


Are you looking for an engaging alternative to a book report? This idea is perfect! I call it The Book in a Bag Project!

This little project was invented to have students share a book with their classmates in an interesting and personal way. If you have ever listened to students reading their ‘book report’ aloud then you know exactly what I am talking about!

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So, how does the Book in a Bag Project work?

Here’s the gist of the project.

Read a book.

Write a summary.

Decorate a bag with a scene from the book.

Place five items in the bag that represent something from the book.

Bring it to school.

Present it to the class!


The bag can be any size. A brown grocery bag is perfect and gift bags are also good choices.

What are the Guidelines of the Book in a Bag Project?

The guidelines for the project are simple.

The front of the bag should show an original student-made scene from the book. This can be hand drawn and colored with markers or crayons, or have cut-outs or other embellishments to decorate the front. It cannot be images that are printed from a computer!

The drawing can have embellishments added- like cloth or small plastic toys. But those are decorative- not the main scene.

On the back of the bag is a one-page summary of the book. We worked on how to write this in class and then students wrote their own. The lessons I taught about this included samples from books I had read.

I just wanted the students to know that a summary does NOT tell every little tiny event, but also covers the entire book! Hint, hint, you should not read a 400-page book. That’s hard to summarize on one piece of paper!

What’s Inside the Bag?

Now, here’s where it gets really fun. Inside the bag students should have five items that show something from the book.

The student could have included a plastic lizard in the book about the iguana. Or with Crash, students could bring a football or helmet.

Finally, each item should have an explanation card that tells why the item represents something from the book. The presentations are so fun! Each student shares the bag and a little of the summary, but the most fun is sharing the five items in the bag.

Now, you cannot do all these presentations in one day! It just takes too long. We spread these out over a full week!

It’s an easy idea and a wonderful way to share books. It beats a regular written book report, hands down! Try it!  

Now, here is your surprise! I created an assignment sheet for this project many years ago and I am sharing it with you. Print it out and use this fun activity with your students! (It is not an editable document.)

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The post Book in a Bag Project – A Book Report Alternative appeared first on Teachers are Terrific.



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