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Grades5 to 12
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Book Drum has the ultimate in book reviews and more for classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Reviews are so colossally informative that Book Drum calls them "profiles" instead...more
Book Drum has the ultimate in book reviews and more for classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Reviews are so colossally informative that Book Drum calls them "profiles" instead of reviews. All types of readers will enjoy the interactive, visual content and attention to detail. Each "profile" has what you would expect: a summary, author information, and a review. However, that is where the "normal" stops and the colossal will begin. Some of the pages also include videos, gorgeous photos with captions and explanations, and maps of the area. The glossary defines difficult, unusual, and world language vocabulary. The most impressive feature is the Bookmarks. This is a page-by-page commentary and illustrations of the text. Head over to Book Drum and type in your favorite book title to see how informative it is. If your favorite book that is not on Book Drum, contact them and ask for a "profile" to be created or volunteer to create one for them as a contributor. Some of the videos require Flash.
In the ClassroomWhether you are a high school class studying "To Kill a Mockingbird" or an elementary teacher reading Roald Dahl's "Mathilda" with your class, you will want to share with the excellent research that has gone into the "Bookmark" pages at Book Drum. For instance, in the first 25 pages Dahl's "Mathilda" mention the novels or the authors of "The Secret Garden," "Great Expectations," "A Moveable Feast," "Heart of Darkness," "Secret Agent," and "Kim." You will find explanations about the books and authors and links for more information. This is a powerful way to introduce young readers to the classics, the authors who wrote them, and general background knowledge.
If you run a reading/writing workshop with your middle or high school students or want to promote books in your library media center, introduce students to "Twilight," "The Graveyard Book" (Neil Gaiman), or any other contemporary book to help satisfy their curiosity about the places and information mentioned. If Book Drum doesn't have a "profile" on the book your literature circles are reading, have your students create a final project modeled on the Book Drum example. Use a wiki for student groups to collaborate on book profile pages. To learn more about using wikis in your classroom, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Another good program for nonfiction literature circle projects is Meograph, (reviewed here).
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