Accordion-Book Summary

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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process, Art, Techniques

Grade 1- 3


Students learn the basic steps of writing a book report and create an eye-catching book summary.


Introduce to students the idea of writing reports on the books that they read. The Book Report Basics will help them get started. These basics introduce the necessary skills and knowledge that students will need to create effective book reports. Students can use this knowledge to complete the Accordion-Book Summary activity.

Book Report Basics

Writing Skills

The basic steps in the writing process include the following:


In this step you brainstorm, think about your topic, create webs and clusters, outline, research, and play around with ideas and words.

First Draft Writing

This is when you simply write all your ideas. Don't worry about anything except saying what you want to say.


After you write your rough draft, go back over what you wrote. Correct spelling and grammar, look up any words you need to, take some things out and add others, and arrange your paragraphs.


Share your work with someone. This person could be your teacher, a friend or parent, a classmate, or others in a writers' workshop. Collect valuable information about what works and what doesn't work in your report.

Editing and Rewriting

Now that you have some fresh ideas, go over your work again. Correct any spelling or grammatical errors you might have missed before; add any ideas you got from others that you liked. Make a final copy of your writing.


When others are able to read your finished product, you have published. Your work may appear on a bulletin board, in a class book, in your own book, in a portfolio, or in a newsletter.


In this stage, your teacher or your classmates will let you know what they think of your report. Your teacher will evaluate your report to make sure you completed it according to the directions given to you.

Basic Book Report Writing Essentials

For a Fiction Book

Include the title and author's name. Don't forget your own name as the author of the book report.

Compose a theme statement. This will really impress your teacher. The theme is the main idea of the story. To help you figure out what the theme is in your book, ask yourself these questions:

What does the main character learn by the end of the book? What is the author's purpose in writing the book? Or, if someone asked you to quickly say what the book is about, what would you say?

Summarize the story. This is writing about the plot. The summary is different from the theme because in the summary you tell what happens in the story, especially what happens to the main character. Be sure you have a beginning, a middle, and an ending in your summary, just as you would in a story.

Give your opinion. End your book report by saying whether or not you liked the book and whether or not you would recommend it to your friends to read.

For a Nonfiction Book

Include the title, author's name, and your name.

Compose a theme statement. For a nonfiction book it might be, The author wanted to show that spiders are fascinating and are not to be feared.

Summarize. Cover the topics as listed in the table of contents. Give a few details for each, perhaps interesting things you learned.

State your opinion. In addition to stating whether or not you liked the book, think about the following: Did the author provide the information you expected to find? Was the writing interesting and easy to understand? Did you learn anything new?

Distribute the activity sheet and materials to students.


For each student:

  • one 6 inch by 18 inch (15 cm by 46 cm) strip of colored construction paper
  • one 6 inch by 18 inch (15 cm by 46 cm) strip of white construction paper
  • glue
  • black marker
  • crayons
  • Accordion-Book Summary activity sheet

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