A long time ago I started this blog as a way of showing the parents of my students photos of projects. The blog, of course, evolved into something completely different over time. However, this post about our Book in a Bag projects remains a most-viewed post. Enjoy and there is a surprise at the end.
Here’s the gist of the project. Read a book, write a summary, decorate a bag with a scene from the book, place five items in the bag that represent something from the book, bring it to school, and present it to the rest of us! Awesome!
The bag can be any size. A brown grocery bag is perfect and gift bags are also good choices.
The guidelines for the project are simple.
The front of the bag should show an original student-made scene from the book. This can be hand drawn and colored with markers or crayons, or have cut-outs or other embellishments to decorate the front. It cannot be images that are printed from a computer!
The drawing can have embellishments added- like cloth or small plastic toys. But those are decorative- not the main scene.
On the back of the bag is a one page summary of the book. We worked on how to write this in class and then students wrote their own. The lessons I taught about this included samples from books I had read.
I just wanted the students to know that a summary does NOT tell every little tiny event, but also covers the entire book! Hint, hint, you should not read a 400-page book. That’s hard to summarize on one piece of paper!
The sides of the bag can also be decorated if the students wanted to do that.
In this photo the cat is playing with a ball of yarn and the end of the yarn wrapped around the bag.
Some students will continue a scene onto the sides of the bag and some use those spots for their name or extra embellishments.
Now, here’s where it gets really fun. Inside the bag students should have five items that show something from the book.
In the book about the iguana the student could have included a plastic lizard. Or in the book called Socks the student could have brought in a stuffed toy cat.
In the book in this photo the student brought a hunting vest and deer antlers.
Finally, each item should have an explanation card that tells why the item represents something from the book. The presentations are so fun! Each student shares the bag and a little of the summary, but the most fun is sharing the five items in the bag.
Now, you cannot do all these presentations in one day! It just takes too long. We spread these out over a full week!
It’s an easy idea and a wonderful way to share books. It beats a regular written book report, hands down! Try it!
Now, here is your surprise! I create an assignment sheet for this project many years ago and I am sharing the original with you. It is a Google Docs file that you can edit. So change the wording if you like, change the due date, or just use it as a guide to create your own version. (The link below will require that you make a copy of the file in Google docs.)