What Happened to the Book Report?

Many of us remember writing book reports when we were in elementary school.  The book report may not sound like a high-tech, 21st century assignment, but it was effective at teaching us how to learn.

At Studia Nova, we embrace top content creators and excellent “explainer” videos.  Explainer videos and innovative animations bring more difficult concepts within reach of students.  I don’t think anyone really reads a manual anymore, we usually find an online video to learn something we need at the moment, a just-in-time learning environment.  And its wonderful.

So are book reports a thing of the past when we can just learn everything from a video?  Not at all.  Book reports are the foundation of learning to read and comprehend a large amount of written text.  As students progress through their academic life and through their real life, they will find reading comprehension their most valuable skill.  For this reason, Studia Nova’s curriculum fully embraces that old, reliable book report.

In addition to the book report, Studia Nova expects students to write summary notes for every chapter or page of text they have been assigned to read.  It would be much easier to add a few auto-graded multiple choice questions to assess if a student read the text.  However, there is no better way to teach a student to learn than to have them express what was read in their own words.  That means we, as teachers, have to read a lot as well!

Studia Nova calls our approach, writing through the curriculum.  It requires teachers to read through a lot of student writing. The technologies we use make providing student feedback efficient and streamlined.  The book report is alive and well at Studia Nova.