Book Recommendation Slides

Book recommendation slides in process. 
This year I tried having my students make book recommendation slides. It turned out really well, so I thought I'd share the process.

My students choose their independent reading novels from our classroom library, or any other source they are interested in. The general expectation is that they will read two books during each six week grading period. So, by the end of the year, most of them have read 10-12 books or more, and the variety is wide. For second semester I add book challenges, to get them out of their bubble.

For the book recommendation slides I asked them to pick their favorite book that they read this year, and I stressed that it needed to be this year.

I created a slide template with some collaboration from my grade level team. You can have a copy of my Book Recommendation Slide Template. (Click "use template")
Book Recommendation Slide Template

For each period I teach, I created a slide deck with 36 copies of the slide template. I shared the slides with each class through Google Classroom, and set the document so that students could edit it.

Yes, I put the whole class in one slide deck at once. This is not as crazy as it sounds. By the end of the year my students are good at staying in their lane. They respect each other, and they assume I have omniscient powers when it comes to knowing who did what and when. (This is almost true thanks to revision history.)

I asked students to just work on the slide number that correlated to their assigned Chromebook number. This generally worked well. A few students used the wrong slide. I either rearranged them or told anyone whose slide was taken to claim a blank one at the end. (Ctrl+d helped me quickly duplicate more slides to add to the end of the deck.)

While we worked on our slides, I got to teach quick lessons about design, layout, audience, etc.
For example, lime green text on a red background is hard to read. Putting your objects too close to the edge won't look good when I print them to hang in the hallway. Your description of the book can't have spoilers. Students who were used to writing summaries to show they read the book had to readjust their thinking for an audience of peers who might want to read the book.

Angelena's finished recommendation slide
The only issues were accidental, rather than malicious. Sometimes, when a student wanted to add a background image, he or she might accidentally click "add to template" instead of "done" when adding the image. That temporarily put the image on all the slides, but we are always able to undo that quickly.

We aren't quite done with this project yet. A few students still have finishing touches to add to their slides. I want to have them do a peer review and leave each other comments. I'll ask a student to create title slides for each genre and then sort the recommendation slides into those genres. I want to be able to share their slides widely, so I will probably print one set for our school with their names on them, and then make a copy of the deck and change names to initials or first names only.

Things I might do differently
I made the template vertical, but I think when I do this again I'll make it horizontal. That will display better on the large TVs in the library and other digital spaces. (I made a horizontal template.)
I asked students to check the deck and not recommend a book that someone else was already recommending, but some did not heed that request, so I could be more clear about it.


  1. Thank you for this. I was just meeting with a group of students and after our book talks, I thought about doing something like this. Thanks for the idea springboard with the template.


Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment on this post. If you have an urgent question you may want to reach out to me on Twitter @JenRoberts1.

Comments on this blog are moderated for posts more than five days old to cut down on spam, so if you are commenting on an older post it may not appear right away.

If something here helped you, feel free to donate $5 toward my classroom library at