3rd Grade Book Reports: How to Help Your Child

Students usually start doing book reports in elementary school. In the 3rd grade, teachers may assign a topic and let kids choose their own books. Here are some ways you can help your child with 3rd grade book reports.

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Help Your 3rd Grader with Book Reports

Book reports can be a great way to get your child excited about reading. They can help your child improve his writing skills and reading comprehension. When your child writes a book report, he must break down and analyze a book's contents. This helps him develop his critical thinking skills.

Book Genres

There's a variety of book genres that are appropriate for readers in the 3rd grade. These might include fairy tales, realistic fiction, biography, fables, nonfiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, mythology and historical fiction. If your child is allowed to choose her own book about an assigned topic for a class book report, encourage her to find one in her favorite genre. If you're doing an at-home book report, let her pick her own topic and genre.

Formatting a Book Report

The required elements to include in book reports tend to be consistent in the 3rd grade. Usually, your child will need to write about the setting, characters and plot. He may also be required to write his opinions on the reading.

It's typical for 3rd graders to write book reports on forms that map out and organize each element the book report needs to address. You can create such a form for your child by looking at the book reports he brings home from school, or you can use one of the many book report templates available online.

Activities and Projects

In the 3rd grade, it can be a lot of fun to make creative book report projects at home. For example, you and your 3rd grader can create a mobile together out of a coat hanger or a couple of sticks tied together. Create hanging pieces for each character in the book by cutting photos out of magazines that represent what she thinks each character looks like. Then, create pieces for the setting and the genre. Add pieces for any other elements of the book that she wishes to include.

Another activity you can do with your child is creating a timeline based on a book. Draw a line across the widest part of a sheet of poster board. Help her map out the major events from a book across the timeline in chronological order, and ask her to write a brief summary of each event and which characters were involved. She can use her own drawings or images cut from periodicals to illustrate other aspects of the book.

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