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Amazon Book Listing Writing Activity

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My school requires a summer reading assignment for each grade level. In my 4th grade class, students read one required book and three "free choice" books from a list I provide. This year, I asked rising 4th grade students to read The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. I do not like to dwell on the summer reading for too long at the beginning of the year, but I do want students to complete some sort of writing assessment. This year students created a fun Amazon book listing.

First, we looked at actual book listings for favorite books I had read over the summer (hint, hint... generating book recommendations for your students). We identified key features in an Amazon book page and items that seemed to be the same in every book listing.

Students discussed the differences between the book summary at the top of the listing and the book reviews at the bottom of the site page. We noted that the summaries contained more facts and less opinion, but the summaries did try to entice a reader. We also noticed how the summaries did not give away the ending or any surprise twists but created a little bit of a cliff hanger for a potential reader.

Finally, we discussed the "Frequently Bought Together" section in each Amazon listing and the purpose of that feature.

I designed an Amazon-like template and gave the students a copy. Each student completed an Amazon book listing for The Lemonade War that included the title of the book, author, a book level that the students determined like 3rd to 5th grade or 8-11 years old, year published, star rating, summary, and three additional book suggestions.
It is a simple writing activity that could be used for any novel. It incorporates many literature skills like summarizing and identifying important details and main characters. I was also able to sneak some library skills into the assignment by having students look for the year published and choose a reading level for the book. My favorite piece of the assignment is asking students to generate three additional book suggestions that would be good "next reads" to share with classmates.

To download a copy of the Amazon template (and see a few more writing activities for novel studies), CLICK HERE. To purchase a complete Lemonade War novel unit CLICK HERE.

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. I'm starting in 4th this year and this will be our summer reading project! Studetns read two books. I will let them choose their favorite and do the book review. Thanks for a great idea and for sharing it!