Book Talks

Welcome to Third Grade Book Talks! Each of the Third Grade teachers follow a similar model, in order for students to practice their public speaking skills… You’ll be amazed at the progress these students show from now until the end of the year.

Book Talks will be recorded and posted on VoiceThread — please take some time to watch & listen to Book Talks from the past few years – you’ll see all kinds of examples, which will help guide your planning:



2014 Schedule:

SPRING BOOK TALKS:  Jan 24, Feb 28, Mar 28

SUMMER BOOK TALKS: Jan 31, Mar 7, April 4

FALL BOOK TALKS: Feb 7, Mar 14, April 11

WINTER BOOK TALKS: Feb 14, Mar 21, May 2


The information I sent home last year is all posted here, in the event you need to reference it…  I will post the almost identical 2014 information here soon.


Student Name: _________________ SPRING   SUMMER   FALL   WINTER

January 3, 2013

Dear Families,

This month we will begin book talks.  As you know, weekly homework expectations have been for your child to read nightly for at least 20 minutes.  It doesn’t matter whether your child reads independently or with assistance.  (Adults provide excellent models for children.)  The important thing is that he/she is reading and talking about books.  Research has proven over and over that children learn to read by reading.  The more they read, the more proficient they will become, and the more successful they will be in school.

Beginning this month, we are asking your child to do an oral presentation of a book they are reading at home. These expectations are from the Grade 3 Speaking and Listening Common Core Standards.   You will find dozens and dozens of past book talks on our classroom blog Voice Thread link.

Attached is a list of different ways your child can choose to share his/her book. It is not necessary to have completed a book.  If more than one book is read during the time period, your child should choose only one to discuss, unless it is a comparison or text-to-text connection.

Note that this is NOT a typical book report where the story is summarized.  In fact, a summary is NOT one of the choices. We will begin sharing the week of January 21st.  Your child will be assigned a group (see next page) to keep track of when he/she will be expected to do a book talk (roughly once every four weeks).  PLEASE REFER TO THE ATTACHED RUBRIC, which will be used to grade your child on these reports.

It is extremely important that children read as much as possible to improve fluency, as well as, word analysis skills, and comprehension.    Reading affects all areas of the curriculum.   Thank you for encouraging your child to become a more proficient reader!

Please sign and return the form below to indicate you are aware of book talk expectations.

I understand that reading a minimum 20 minutes per night is a homework expectation for my child, and that he/she is being asked to prepare a book talk to share with the class every four weeks (3-4 talks in total)

Presentations will be made on Fridays.  Please check our weekly homework newsletter and/or class ‘blog to see which “season” (group) is presenting each week. Your child’s assigned “season” will be:


We also understand that an unexcused late presentation will result in a drop in grade. Excused presentations (due to absence, or with a parent note) will be given 1 additional week to prepare, and will be expected to present the following Friday.

Rubric for book talks 2012-13





  • to share a really good book
  • to share information about an exciting author
  • to share unfamiliar books/authors
  • to give/receive recommendations for reading lists
  • to receive feedback from others
  • to inspire others to read the book
  • to practice oral presentation skills

Suggestions for each book talk: Choose one or two ideas to create a 3-5 minute presentation–

¨ Talk about the author and any other books he/she has written

¨ Show the cover and some of the illustrations. Give reasons why you chose those illustrations, and how they relate to the book.

¨ Read aloud an interesting lead or an exciting part of the book; tell why it was exciting or interesting for you

¨ Share something you didn’t like and support why you feel as you do

¨ T->S: Connect the book to your own life (character, setting, problem, etc.)

¨ T->T: Connect the book with another book you’ve read; tell how it is like the other book. (Give examples from both books.)

¨ ?: Ask questions you might be wondering about, before, during, or after reading and tell why you are wondering that.

¨ Make predictions about what will happen next in the book & tell why you are thinking that way

¨ Discuss character traits, give evidence from the book why you describe the character as you do.

¨ Share a character description, and how he/she changed in the story.

¨ Describe the setting and explain how it is important to the story.

¨ Do you agree or disagree with the author? Would you change some part of the book, or the way it ended? How? Why

¨ Share 5 new vocabulary words you learned from reading this book. Tell the meaning and how they helped you make sense of the story.

¨ Share some interesting facts about a topic. Tell why you shared them.

¨ Share a cause and effect relationship in a book.

¨ Compare or contrast two ideas, or concepts from a book.


Things to remember when planning a book talk:

¨ Give the title and author of your book. Bring your book with you.

¨ Look at your audience while you are speaking.

¨ Speak loud and slow enough so everyone can hear clearly, while using expression to keep their interest.

¨ Be prepared. Bring some notes to help you remember what you want to talk about.

¨ IMPORTANT: You should practice your presentation several times so you can present confidently.

¨ Know how long your presentation takes. It should be at least 3 minutes, but not more than 5.

¨ VERY IMPORTANT: Always give support, examples, or reasons for what you are sharing.

  • 17:

    Have you posted mine yet? Hi Mrs. Brooks! I Hope you are having a great vacation

  • brianna:

    Dear Mrs.Brooks
    I tried to leave a comment a book talk but was not able to.

  • Suzy Brooks:

    Hi Miss Brianna,

    You can try just typing one… if you don’t have luck, just email me what you want to say, and what book talk you want to put it on, and I’ll do it for you :)

    See you tomorrow,
    Mrs. Brooks

  • liam:

    I kinda liked my book talk,but I think brody’s was better.

  • brianna:

    dear Mrs.brooks
    I liked leah’s book talk and katy’s too

    love brianna

  • 8:

    I watched 7`s Book Talk and liked it.

    I liked it because she was VERY prepared.
    My favorite part was the fake grenade.
    I also liked how she memorized it.

  • Maisie:

    Dear Mrs. Brooks,
    On the homework, it says that I have to write down the date of my next book talk, and I have know idea when it is.It would help so much if you could tell me when it is.


    Maisie :) :) :)

  • Suzy Brooks:

    Hi Miss Maisy!

    On the blog – click on Dates to Remember. If I was a good teacher, it should show up there, all the way to May/June. You can click while I double-check, too!

    You’re welcome 1,000,000 + 1
    Mrs. Brooks

  • Hi there,

    This is Mrs Hazzledine from Melbounre Australia visiting. I really love the book talk information you have on this site. Do you mind in I borrow some of the information to use in my classroom?

    Mrs Hazzledine

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Mrs. Hazzledine – I could tell as soon as I saw the time stamp on your comment, that it must be from elsewhere in the world. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by our blog and you may absolutely borrow what I’ve shared on my site. Let us know how you make out!

      Take care, and enjoy the Blogging Challenge!!

  • Hi Mrs. Brooks-
    I found your blog through the edtech teacher newsletter. I think this activity must be lots of fun!
    We are still working on presentation skills in my 9th grade World Cultures class. Such an important life skill that can always be improved :)
    Please tell your students- thanks for sharing.

    Mrs. Hansell

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Hi Mrs. Hansell,
      Thanks for stopping by! Book Talks have become a passage-right for third graders, and helps them get ready for our huge Living Wax Museum project coming later this month. I love seeing them present, and am always amazed at their growth through the winter and spring. It must be awesome to see 9th graders do their thing – and to present on World Cultures sounds like it’d be so engaging for students! I appreciate your kind words and wish you a fabulous end to your school year!
      Take care,

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