Back when I was at school we simply wrote book reports. I’m impressed by and appreciate Mother Syamali’s creative literature projects. As of lately, Upper Elementary students were asked to choose one of the major characters in their independent reading book, and plan a dynamic scrapbook. Using key events and characters from their novels, they made a collection of hand-drawn photos, representing special memories. Each photo was accompanied by a caption of at least three sentences, explaining the image’s connection to the story. Students also included a variety of different artifacts to represent the events and characters, decorating each page to match the theme of their texts. What a genius way of reviewing and representing the main events!

Most recently, students created unique board games to showcase their independent reading. The artwork, content, and overall theme of the board games was inspired by characters, conflicts, and events in their selected novels. Students were given permission to use any combination of hand-drawn and computer generated images and follow a specific list of requirements. The results were remarkable. Students designed and crafted the board and the counters. Some even made their own dice. They deliberated the rules of the game and its strategies. Some also prepared question cards based on the books. And the bonus? After presenting their finished products, students had the opportunity to sit together and put the games to the test! What an original way of reflecting on and expressing an understanding of literature!