Literacy 10Assignment Options

Remember to cite your sources (all of them) correctly. Certain assignments do not need citations--they include the blue phrase: Creative writing; no citing necessary. All options will be checked carefully for originality--do your own work! Some of the assignments are limited to certain kinds of books. All limiters are indicated in green.

  1. Character astrology signs. After reading brief descriptions of the astrology or sun signs, figure out which signs you think three of the main characters from your book were born under. Write an explanation of why you think they fit the sign, drawing on their actions, attitudes, and thoughts as recorded in the book.
  2. Heroes and superheroes. Select two or three people your protagonist would consider especially meaningful heroes or superheroes. Describe the characteristics of the hero and why those characteristics would be important to your character. Also describe which characteristics your character would most want for himself/herself that the hero or superhero possesses.
  3. Create a childhood for a character. If your protagonist is an adult, try to figure out what he or she would have been like as a child. Write the story of his or her childhood in such a way that shows why he or she is the way he or she is in the novel.
  4. Critique from the point of view of a specific organization. Select an organization that might have a lot to say about the actions or portrayals of characters in the novel you read, and write a critique of the book from that organization's point of view. For example, UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) supports children's rights around the world; it might object to the way Ender was treated by Colonel Graff in Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The Royal Canadian Legion might object to Colonel Graff's court martial near the end of the novel. The Canadian Women's Foundation might object to Card only having two female characters in the whole novel, and that he portrays girls as "less worthy" than boys (Val isn't good enough for Battle School--she's too nice--and Petra is the only one who cracks in chapter 14). Choose a real organization and write from their point of view.
  5. Social worker's report. If the events in the novel merit it, write up a report as a social worker would about the conditions in the home and whether or not it's a good environment for a child. For example, what would a social worker say about the conditions at Battle School, from Ender's Game?
  6. University or college application. Create the application that a character you have just read about could write and submit to a college or university. Use all the information you know about the character, and infer and create the rest of it. On the application include Name, Academic Rank in Class, High School Courses Taken and Grades, Extracurricular Activities, Work Experience and Personal Activities. Choose one of the following questions to answer in a two-page essay from the character's point of view: a) What experience, event or person has had a significant impact on your life? b) Discuss a situation where you have made a difference; or c) Describe your areas of interest, your personality, and how they relate to why you would like to attend this university. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  7. School counselor's recommendation letter. Write a summary appraisal from the school counselor's point of view that assesses the character's academic and personal qualities and that character's potential as a university student. The college will be particularly interested in evidence about character, relative maturity, integrity, independence, values, special interests, and any noteworthy talents or qualities. Why do "you" (the school counselor) feel this student would be well-suited to attend university? Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  8. Talk show invitation. Select an important character from your book, and think about his or her involvements and experiences, then figure out which talk show would most want your character on as a guest. What would they want the character to talk about? Who else would they invite on the show to address the issues the character is involved in? Write up the correspondence (letters or emails) between the talk show host and the character in which the host explains what the character should focus on during the show. After the show, have them exchange one more letter mentioning how they felt about what happened. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  9. Radio exchange. Your character calls in to a radio show for advice. Choose which show your character would call in to, and then create the conversation he or she would have with the radio advice giver. Be sure to have your character discuss at least one problem at length. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  10. Movie recommendations. From all the movies you have seen in the last few years, pick five you would recommend that your character see. Give a brief summary of each movie in your own words, and explain why you think the character should see it.
  11. Simplified storyboard. If your book is NOT a graphic novel and has NOT been made into a movie only! Create a series of nine drawings in nine squares that shows the significant events of the novel. Under each picture or cartoon, write a few lines of explanation. Why were these the nine most important pieces to choose?
  12. Word collage. Write the title of the book in the center of a sheet of paper (no smaller than 8.5 x 11 inches; no larger than 11 x 17 inches in size). Then look through print magazines, advertising flyers, newspapers, etc. for words, phrases and sentences that illustrate or tell something about your book. As you look, think in terms of the theme, setting, and plot line, as well as characters. Work to get fifty such words, phrases, or sentences, so the whole sheet of paper will be covered. The visual impact of the collage should tell a potential reader a lot about the book. In other words, visual design is just as important as the words themselves!
  13. Yearbook entries. If your characters are adults. Imagine what three or four characters from your novel were like in high school. Cut out a picture of a person from a magazine to represent each character. Mount one picture per page and under each picture place the following information, which you will create: nickname of character; activities, clubs, sports they were in and what years; class mock award, such as "class clown"; quotation that shows something about the person and what is important to him or her; favourites such as colours and foods; a book that has had a great impact on him or her; voted "most likely to" what?; plans after high school. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  14. Letter exchange. Create a letter exchange between a character and the author, or write a series of self-reflective letters from several characters on what the character learned about himself, others, and life.
  15. Awards. Create an award for each of the important characters based on their actions in the novel. One might be awarded "most courageous" for fighting peer pressure, another might be awarded "wisest" for the guidance he or she gave other characters. For each award, write a paragraph that explains what the character did to deserve the award.
  16. Talk show on issues in the novel. Create and perform a talk show around one of the major issues or themes in the novel. For example, after reading The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher (1987, Dell), you might want to discuss the issue of running away from home. Include people to represent several points of view on the issue. You might include characters from the book, a social worker, a police office, a gang member, etc. You will hand in a copy of your script as well as either a recording of your talk show (audio or video) OR you may perform the show live (you will have to recruit other people to play the parts in your show, of course).
  17. Dream vacation. Where do you think your protagonist (or group of important characters) would like to go on a vacation? Pick a spot, describe it, and explain why he or she would want to go there. Use the Internet to investigate what is available to see and do in that area. Then write a day-by-day itinerary of what the character would do each day and why you think the character would enjoy this activity.
  18. Scrap book. Think about all the kinds of mementos and souvenirs you would put in a scrap book if you had one. Then create a scrap book for your character, cutting out pictures from magazines, or drawing the mementos he or she would have in a scrap book. Think about Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. She would probably have something in her scrap book to represent her deep affection for her best friend, Hermia; her major crush on Demetrius; and her quiet, obedient personality, among other things.
  19. Soundtrack. After reading a novel, figure out how you would divide the book up into sections. Then select a piece of music that you think captures the feel or tone of each section. Record the pieces. For each section of the novel, explain with a paragraph or two what is happening in the novel during each piece of music and why you felt this piece of music fit the section of the novel.
  20. File a complaint. Write from the point of view of a character in the novel who you feel was portrayed in a racist or sexist manner. Write up a complaint explaining what you feel was unjust in your portrayal and explain the actions you would like the author to take to fix it in the next edition of the book. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  21. Tangible or intangible gifts. Select a character and figure out what two or three things you believe the character most needs or wants. Draw pictures to represent these "gifts" and write to your character an explanation of why you picked these things out for him or her. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  22. Talk to the author. Write a letter to the author of the book explaining to him or her why you think he or she wrote the book, and what he or she was trying to show through the book. Be sure to explain what you got out of the book. If the author is still alive, send the letter to the author via the publishing company (hand in a photocopy of your letter and the addressed envelope).Creative writing; no citing necessary unless you quote the book.
  23. Point of view column. Write an opinion column like those that appear on the editorial page of the newspaper. Choose a theme or topic from the novel you just read and write the column from the point of view of one of the characters. Your character might write about the importance of education, or why we should accept people who are not like us, or...? Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  24. Character monologues. Select an event in the story that characters have different views on. For example, Petra, Bean, Colonel Graff and Ender, from Ender's Game all have different views on Petra's failure during the group's final examination. Then, write up two or three characters' opinions on the same event in the form of monologues (one character on stage talking to him/her self. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  25. Answering machine message. Answering machine messages (and voicemail outgoing messages) can be pretty creative, and reflect the interests and individuality of the owner. Select five characters from the novel you have just read and create an answering machine message from each of them. Pay especial attention to diction and tone. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  26. Name analysis. Select a few of the characters (no fewer than three) from the novel. Look up the meaning of their names to see what they mean. Write all the meanings down, and then write a short essay for each character explaining in what ways the name is suitable for the character, and in what ways the name does not fit the character.
  27. A character's fears. One way we get to know characters is to think deeply about them and make inferences based on their actions and on what they and others say about them. Through a person's actions, we can learn what they fear and what they want to avoid the most. Select several characters from your novel (at least five) and write multi-paragraph responses on what you believe each fears the most and what evidence you used to come to this conclusion.
  28. Current events. Select five current news or feature stories from TV or news magazines that you think your protagonist would be interested in. Then explain how your character would respond to each of the stories and the opinions your character would have about what was happening in the current events stories.
  29. Draw a scene. If you are artistic, think of an important scene and draw it the way you see it. Place the characters in the scene too, and then figure out where you were in relation to the characters when you read the book. Then write your explanations of why you drew the scene the way you did and why you think you were where you were in the scene. What does it tell you about who you related to in the novel?
  30. New acquaintances. Select two characters from your book. Then think about three to five people, living or dead, that you would like your characters to meet. Write about how you selected these new acquaintances and what you'd like the character to learn from the people you introduce him or her to. For instance, after reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (1990, Orchard), you might want Charlotte to meet Sojourner Truth, so she can see other women who do important work, Madame Curie, who worked in a male-dominated field, and so on.
  31. Book choices for character. Select a character and then choose five books for him or her, thinking about what he or she might like and also what you think he or she needs to know more about. Scan library shelves, use the Internet, or ask a librarian (or widely-read person) to get ideas. Why did you select the nonfiction books you did? What do you hope your character will like about or learn from the fiction? Explain in detail.
  32. Community resources for characters. After looking in the phone book and on the Internet (and possibly asking around in the community!), create a file of community resources that would help a character in your novel cope with an issue. If the main character has alcoholic parents, you could collect pamphlets, names of self-help groups, and any agencies that address the problem. Then create a display board so others can see what is available in Abbotsford.
  33. Family history. Create the history of the family of one of the main characters in your novel. For instance, in And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie, what was Vera Hawthorne's life like growing up? What major events affected her family? How were things like holidays and birthdays celebrated? What is important to this family?
  34. Detective work. Not suitable for detective/mystery stories! If a detective or police officer suddenly showed up in your novel, who or what would the officer be investigating? Write about what the detective is looking for, how he or she knew something was up or needed investigating, and what he or she recommended.
  35. Create a character's room. We learn a lot about people by what they keep in their closets, what they have on their walls, and what they select to put in a room. Select a character you know well and create a living room, bedroom, kitchen or some other room that would mean a lot to that character. Draw it and write about it, explaining why you designed the room as you did (why those colours, those pieces of art, those...).
  36. iPOD playlist. Think of a character you know well. Design his or her favourite iPOD playlist. Be sure that the collection includes music that expresses as many aspects of the character as you are aware of. Explain why you chose each piece of music with a short paragraph.
  37. Photo album. Think about the events that happened in your novel. Decide which scenes or pictures from the novel a character would want to remember. Draw at least six of these pictures for a "photo album" page, or write about which pictures the character would want in hs or her album.
  38. Alternative ending. Rewrite the last chapter of the book to end the book the way it "should have" ended. Be sure to try to use the same style and word choice as the original author. If necessary, explain why your ending works better than the author's. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  39. Sequel. Only if your book is a stand-alone novel. What should happen in the sequel to your novel? Predict what will happen next, after your book is over. In the style of the original author, write the first chapter of the next book in this series. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  40. Character's diary. Only if your book is from third-person point of view. Select a character from the novel and write at least five diary entries that the character might have written on the days that important things happened in the plot of the book. Creative writing; no citing necessary.
  41. Book review. Write a detailed review of the book for your classmates to read. Would you recommend this book to your peers? Why or why not? Be sure to explain your reasons for liking (or disliking) the book clearly, without giving away too much of the plot (or at least give us spoiler alerts!).
  42. Book cover. Take a look at the covers of some well-known books. Using the principles and elements of design, make a new cover for your book. Include a synopsis of the storyline on the inside-front cover, a biography of the author (with picture) on the inside back cover, and both a teaser and some *invented* praise. Be careful--this kind of project is easily plagiarized. All of your work must be original and your cover art must also tell something important about the story.
  43. Book club readers' guide. At the end of some novels, there are a set of questions that are designed for a book club to use in discussion. If your book does NOT have a readers' guide, create one. You may want to look at readers' guide questions in books you have already read for some ideas. Be sure that the questions will spark discussion! You should have at least fifteen to twenty questions.
  44. Map the journey. If there was an important physical journey in your book, create a large map of the area covered. Include explanatory notes for all the significant spots on your map. Remember that maps need BOLTSS (border, orientation, legend, title, scale, sources).
  45. Be the National Enquirer. Create the front page for a tabloid like the National Enquirer or other fantastic-story newspaper. All the stories mentioned on the front page should be exaggerated events from the book. Also write at least two of the fantastically exaggerated stories.
  46. Be the Vancouver Sun. Create the front page for a serious newspaper like the Vancouver Sun. Write headlines and news stories that happened to the characters in your book. Draw the pictures.
  47. Re-title. Write a paragraph explaining the title of the book with reference to the novel. Is it appropriate? Why or why not? Then, decide on an alternative title for the book, and, with references to the novel, write a paragraph about it. Why is your new choice appropriate? Is it better than the original title? Why or why not?
  48. Travel brochure. Make a travel brochure to advertise the setting of the book. Your brochure should make tourists want to come and visit the setting (time and place). What types of activities would there be for tourists to be involved in? Be sure to use the principles and elements of design to help convince tourists to come.
  49. Puppet show. Make three or more puppets of the characters in the book. Write a script for a short puppet show that tells the important parts of the story.
  50. Life-size character. Find a large roll of paper, and create a life-size paper doll of one of the characters from the novel. Dress your paper doll appropriately. On the character's chest, make a list of five of the characters good personality traits. Include evidence for these from the novel.
  51. Children's book. Rewrite the story as a picture book for seven-year-olds. Use simple vocabulary and attractive illustrations to re-tell the story.
  52. Conflict study. Write an essay describing the problem or conflict existing for the main character in the book. Tell how the conflict was resolved (or was not resolved).
  53. Write a song. Write a poem which describes the feelings of a main character during the story, and includes references to the story's main events. Write an original tune to which to set the poem. Record your song. Hand in your original poem and a recording of someone (preferably you) singing the song.
  54. Teach the book. Pretend you are a teacher, preparing to teach your book to the class. Create five writing prompts to help your students think about important aspects of the book. Then, make a test to assess your students' learning. The test should have ten true-or-false questions, ten multiple-choice questions, and three literary-paragraph-response questions. Create the answer key to go with your test.
  55. Who's a hero? Select one character from your book who has the qualities of a heroine or hero. List these qualities and tell why you think the person is heroic. Use examples from the book to explain.
  56. Party time. Plan a party for the characters in the book you read. In order to do this, you must do all of the following: a) Choose a reason for the party. Is it a birthday, anniversary, housewarming, or what? b) Design an invitation to the party, which would appeal to all of the characters. c) Tell what five of the characters would wear to this party, and why they would make these choices. d) Tell what food you would serve and why. e) Tell what games or entertainment you will provide and why your choices are appropriate. f) Tell how three of the characters will act at the party.
  57. Find a job. Get a job application from a business in this area, and fill out the application as one of the characters in the book you read. Be sure that the job your character is applying for is one he or she is qualified for! Write your character's resume and attach it to the application. The resume may be typed, but include your handwritten rough copy).
  58. It's the law. Imagine you are a prosecuting attorney putting one of the characters from the book you read on trial for a crime or misdeed. Prepare your case on paper, giving all your arguments.
  59. TV show. Make a television box show of ten scenes in the order that they occur in the book you read. Cut a square from one side of the box to serve as a TV screen, and make two slits in opposite sides of the box, to the left and right of the side with the square cut out. Slide a roll of butcher paper, on which you have drawn the scenes, through the two slits. Write a script for your "TV show" and make a recording of background noises you will need when performing your show. You may perform this live, if you like.
  60. Terrific friend. In the book The Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, describes a good book as one that, "when you're done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it." Imagine that the author of the book you read is a terrific friend of yours. Write out an imaginary telephone conversation between the two of you, in which you discuss the book you read--and other things as well. Creative writing. No citing necessary.
  61. Good advice. Make a list of at least ten proverbs or familiar sayings. Decide which characters in the book you read should have followed the suggestions in these sayings, and why. What would following these pieces of advice have changed about the book?
  62. Timeline. Make a time line of the major events in the book you read. Be sure the timeline follows good timeline rules (especially a consistent scale!). Use drawings to illustrate the events along the timeline. Include at least 10 events and write a bit about why each was important.
  63. Setting change. Change the setting of your book in some significant way. For example, if your book was set in the Wild West, imagine it was set in modern-day England. How would changing the setting affect the events and characters in the book?
  64. Political speech. Pick a provincial or national issue. Compose a speech to be given on that topic by one of the major characters in the book you read. Be sure the contents of the speech reflect the character's personality and beliefs.
  65. Reflections. Complete each of these eight ideas with material that grows out of the book you read. Write at least one paragraph for each, explaining them fully.
    1. This book made me wish that...
    2. This book made me realize that...
    3. This book made me decide that...
    4. This book made me wonder about...
    5. This book made me see that...
    6. This book made me believe that...
    7. This book made me feel that...
    8. This book made me hope that...
  66. Non-fiction. If your book was non-fiction only. After reading a non-fiction book, become a teacher. Prepare a lesson that will teach something you learned from the book. It could be a "how-to" lesson, or one on content. Plan carefully to present all necessary information in a logical order. You don't want to confuse your students! In your lesson plan, include a "hook" to get your students' attention, some information, an activity (students don't want to sit and listen to a lecture!), and an assessment (evaluation). If possible, actually teach your lesson to a group. (Elementary school students, a day care, a Scouting or Guiding group, a youth group, your French class...)
  67. Then and now. Gather together at least 10 articles from newspapers which talk about current events that are similar to events that happened in the book you read. Explain how the real world and fictional world are both dealing with these issues.
  68. Wanted. Make a wanted poster for a character or object from your book. Include all of the following: a) a drawing of the character or object. b) a physical description of the character or object, c) information about the character's or object's misdeeds (or deeds?--why is this person/thing 'wanted'?), d) other important information about the character or object, especially as relates to how/where it can be found/captured, e) the reward offered for the capture of the character or object, and f) to whom the character/object must be returned to claim the reward.
  69. Movie ideas. Only if your book has not been made into a movie. Imagine that you are the author of the book you just read. Suddenly, it becomes a best seller. Write a letter to a movie producer trying to get that person interested in making your book into a movie. Explain why the characters, plot, conflicts, etc. would make a good film. Suggest a filming location and the actors to play the various roles.
  70. Which is better? Only if your book has been made into a movie--and it had to be a book FIRST, not a novelization of a screenplay. Once you have finished your book, watch the movie version (watch several versions, if there have been many made). Compare and contrast the book with the film version(s). How are they the same? How are they different? Which changes make the story better? Which changes weakened the original story? Rate all the versions you have read/seen.
  71. Nonfiction which is better. Nonfiction only. Read two nonfiction books on the same topic. Compare and contrast them. Explain which one was better and why. (If you do a nonfiction book first semester, and choose to read another on the same topic, this is a good choice for a second assignment.)
  72. Graffiti. Take a large sheet of white paper (11 x 17 inches, third drawer down by the door) and use a ruler to put in lines so the page resembles a brick wall. Using markers, pencil crayons, magazine cutouts, or paints, write graffiti about the book on the wall. Be sure that you show a detailed knowledge of the book through this medium.
  73. Stage play. Imagine that the book has been made into a stage play, and you are the set designer. Build a miniature stage setting of a scene in the book. Include an explanation of the scene.
  74. Going somewhere? Pretend that you are going to join the characters in the story. What things will you need to pack? Make a list, and explain your choices. Think carefully--you will be there for at least a week, and there is no going back home to get something! You must be able to carry your packed luggage yourself.
  75. Political office. Nominate one of the characters from your book for a political office at the municipal, provincial, or federal level. Which office should they run for? What are the qualities that will make the character good at the job? How do you know he or she has these qualities?
  76. Deleted scenes. Not for books with a movie version. Write a scene that should have been included in the book, but wasn't. How would your scene affect the rest of the book?
  77. Then what? Write a short story describing the life of one of the characters in the book you read twenty years after the book ends.
  78. Why a book? Non-fiction only. Consider the purpose of the book you read. Why did the author write it? To explain something, to educate the readers, to warn young people, to start a revolution? Then, in a short essay, explain how the author achieved this purpose. How could he or she have fulfilled the purpose better?
  79. 3-D. Make a 3-D model of some important object from the book. Explain why this object is the most important one, and describe what effects it has on other things (and characters, if any) in the book.
  80. Graphic Novel. Only for books that aren't graphic novels or movies already! Create a graphic novel version of the book you just read. Try to stay as true as you can to the author's story and vision, while trimming the "unimportant" bits.
  81. Toy story. Non-fiction only. Create a line of toys that will help the audience understand the importance of the subject of the book you have just read. Sketch and explain at least five different toys suitable for children aged 7 to 10 years. Make a model of one of the toys, if possible.
  82. Math? Really? Non-fiction only. Math relates to every physical process in the universe. Explore how mathematics relates to the subject of your non-fiction book. Explain in a short paragraph. Then write at least five mathematical word problems that relate to your topic. Include an answer key for your math questions.
  83. This...is...Jeopardy! Non-fiction only. Once you have read a non-fiction book, create answers (and questions) about the facts covered in the book, as they might be found in a game of Jeopardy on TV. Be sure that you have six categories, with five questions each, from easiest (low dollar value) to hardest and a daily double in your first round. Don't forget a Double Jeopardy round, with two daily doubles, and the Final Jeopardy question. Remember that these assignments must be handwritten, so you'll have to be creative in making your Jeopardy boards!

Ideas adapted from:
  • Aguilar, Elena. "Beyond the Book Report: Ten Alternatives". Edutopia. 19 February 2013. Web. 5 July 2013.
  • Ironton High School. "Book Report Ideas". Edublogs. May 2013. Web. 5 July 2013.
  • Mitchell, Diana. "Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report." English Journal 87.1 (Jan 1988): 92-95. Print.
  • Robb, Kim. "More Ideas Than You'll Ever Use for Book Reports". Teachnet. n.d. Web. 5 July 2013.