One of the hardest things to do as a writing teacher is to get my students to write focused paragraphs. To help them (and me) I have created a series of rubrics to help create and organize all sorts of writing genres. One of my most popular and useful rubrics is my book review rubric.
For this weeks writing prompt, use my rubric to write a book review about any book that you have recently read. The rubric can be uploaded by clicking here: Download Fitz’s Book Review Rubric It is a Microsoft Word document. After you have uploaded it to your computer, save it with a different file name. If you use a mac and need a Pages or pdf version of the rubric, please let me know, and I will send you one.
When you are finished writing your review in the Microsoft Word document, upload a picture of the cover into a new blog entry by using the insert image icon in the toolbar on the dashboard (the place where you write entries). Set the image to 300 pixels wide by clicking on Custom when you upload your picture. If you cant figure this part out, dont worry about it. Cut and paste each section of the rubric as separate paragraphs.
I know this seems like a lot of work for a book review, but believe me, it works, and once you get the hang of it, you wont need to use the rubric! I can guarantee if you use this rubric, you will receive awesome grades from your teachers whenever you write a book review. [With a little bit of tweaking, you can also use the rubric for movie and game reviews, too!]
Keep writing your regular journal entries and be sure to post comments. I know a lot of kids are off at different summer camps, but if you are around, keep writing. Nothing makes me happier than to look in the blogs and see a new entry.
If you feel like you need some more help, I am around on Thursdays. We could meet then. Just send me an e-mail if you would like a private tutoring session.
I hope your summer is going well so far. My summer is great. I am doing a lot of writing, reading, and recuperating from my knee surgeries.
All the best,
Here is an example of a good book review, written by none other than our own master blogger, Adam Jolly:
The Odyssey is an epic story of full adventure, love, hope, suffering, and pain. Written by the famous Greek poet Homer, this 500 page poem is naturally a "classic." Although written in the times of Ancient Greece, the version being reviewed was copyrighted in 1990 when Robert Fagles did a new translation of the story.
The story is actually in epic poem form. The author in this case, is telling a story about great, cunning Odysseus. Odysseus is a relatively old war hero who became stranded on an island after his war-ship crashed on the way home. The book starts out when Odysseus is leaving the islandof Calypso. He had been trapped for around twenty years, until Goddess Athena stands up for him. This part was a little confusing because it doesn't say how he got to the island until the middle of the book. Then he gets stranded at sea, again. He goes through all of these hardships until he finally gets found by some young ladies. They bring him back to the kingdom, and he tells them the story of all that has happened. Here he talks to the King about giant beasts, water-monsters, and Cyclops. Meanwhile, Telemachus, Odysseus' son has set off on a journey to find his dad and get rid of all the suitors from his home. Odysseus' one goal is to make it home, and Telemachus' goal is to find his dad. This is a very strong sense of fatherly love. Does Odysseus ever come home? Will the suitors ever be drove off from Odysseus' old castle?
This book has made a different person. It has taught me to stay strong when things are hard and to persevere through even the toughest times. It also taught me how important family is. Most of us take our family for granted. For example: how many of us say, "I love you mom!" when she drops you off at Fenn each morning? I have learned to not take my family for granted when I read this book. One thing I noticed when reading this, is that you get something different out of it for each age you are. For me, I was relating myself to young Telemachus. While older people might compare themselves to Odysseus.
No matter how old you are, you will love The Odyssey. It is a story that has endured many years for one main reason: It is a great story.
~Rating: ***** 5/5