Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Have I Got a Book for You!

Leslie Briggs
Santa Rosa District Schools


On your trips to the library, are you tired of hearing the question, "What's this book about?" If so, here is an activity to help students discover what books the library has to offer.


The student describes and evaluates personal preferences regarding fiction and nonfiction.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for: correct spelling; correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and common use of semicolons; correct capitalization; correct sentence formation; correct instances of possessives, subject/verb agreement, instances of noun/pronoun agreement, and the intentional use of fragments for effect; and correct formatting that appeals to readers, including appropriate use of a variety of graphics, tables, charts, and illustrations in both standard and innovative forms.


-“Books to Check Out!” Form (see attached file)
-Access to the library
-Three-hole punch
-Large three-ring notebook


Do the following:
1. Print a copy of the form, “Books to Check Out!” (See attached file.)
2. Prepare a transparency of the “Books to Check Out!” form.
3. Prepare two copies of the form for each student.
4. Acquire a three-hole punch and a large three-ring notebook.


Day One
1. Introduce the lesson. One great way to get the students’ attention for today’s lesson is to read a short story or, better yet, a children’s book aloud to the students. Choose a story that was one of your favorites. After reading the story, discuss why the story is/was your favorite.

2. Lead a discussion of favorite books and stories, and encourage students to share their personal favorites.

3. Tell students, “We are going to the school library. I want you to check out a book which seems interesting to you but that you know nothing about.”

4. Instruct students to browse through the library stacks and select a book to check out.

5. Provide students time to read their selections.

6. Instruct students to read the first two chapters (or twenty pages). Students need to read this much before they can decide if they want to read the entire novel.

Day Two
1. Review the previous day’s activity.

2. Display a copy of the form, “Books to Check Out!” on the overhead. (See attached file.)

3. Instruct students how to complete the form.

4. Instruct students to continue reading the selected novel.

5. Meet privately with each student. In this preliminary book conference, the student gets one copy of the form and an opportunity to ask any questions. The teacher records the title of the student’s selected novel. (This is also an opportunity for a student to reject the novel and get another.)

6. Have students continue to work on “Books to Check Out!” form. The work will be completed as homework, but the teacher has the option to give class time for reading of the novel, and depending on the class, students may need up to two weeks to complete the assignment.

Date Due
1. Have students turn in completed work.

2. Assess the book form.

3. Return the forms, and the students make corrections on a
new form.

4. Place all completed and corrected forms in a spiral notebook. The book can be displayed in the classroom, or it can be kept in the library for all readers to see.


Because the final draft will be published in the three-ring notebook and made available for others to read, it is important to stress the use of correct grammar, punctuation, and usage. The first draft is scored using the following checklist, and the teacher makes corrections using standard proofreading marks:

-Did you complete all sections?
- Were your responses written in complete sentences?
- Did you have fewer than four misspelled words?
- Did you have fewer than four grammar errors?
- Did you capitalize and punctuate the author’s name and book title correctly?
- Was your opinion of the book easy to understand? Did you use examples from the text to support your ideas?

Allow students time to revise their drafts before displaying. Final drafts should be assessed for grammar and punctuation as well as the student's description of his/her opinions or preferences in fiction and non-fiction.


This is a great lesson for introducing students to books with which they are unfamiliar. Students always lean towards the “current” books of the moment, but our library stacks are full of great books that are never touched because their covers aren’t as attractive as today’s paperback covers. When the book of forms is completed, you may want to consider keeping it in your school’s library. This would make a great quick reference for students, teachers, and parents.

Attached Files

The file “Books to Check Out!”.     File Extension: pdf

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