One of my favorite times of the year is when we do book talks at the beginning of each quarter. I love pulling together books new and old to get kids into reading. Nothing feels better than talking about a bunch of a books with students and then seeing all those books fly off the shelf! Part of why I love my job so much!
But how do you keep track of it all? How do you organize your book talks? I developed a system a few years ago that has been very successful for me to remember all of the books I usually like to "book talk" and make switching from one class to another a snap!
When I asked my other district librarians about how exactly they put together book talks, someo f them responsed that they just grab some off the shelves and put a book trailer up. Others had a recipe box they kept 3X5 cards in to keep track of the plots and anything intresting about the books. I keep a virtual file cabinet. . . .
The tool I use is Prezi. It's actually a pretty simple template. Take a look at the Prezi Presentation below. This is the kind of presentation I would typically do for a book talk.
You can see that I usually have 4 books that I talk about. When I present the Prezi, we zoom in to each of these books covers. Each book has a plot summary along with it to help refresh my memory when talking about that book. Usually one of the books (typically the first one I talk about) has a coordinating book or movie trailer that goes along with it.
Take a look now when I zoom out in editing mode.
All of the books I ever talk about in a book talk are built into this Prezi. They are just beyond the area that is in the path of the Prezi! It's like a virtual file cabinet. All of these books already have plots written out, a cover of the book, and a book trailer hidden in it somewhere if I wanted to use a book trailer.
Therefore, if I were to do this book talk and then had a new class coming in, here are the four simple steps I follow. . . .
#1: Move the books I just talked about into the "virtual file cabinet."
#2: Move the books I want to talk about with the next class out of the "virtual file cabinet" and into the picture.
#3: Edit the path of the Prezi so now we zoom between the books that are in the picture. Adding in any You Tube videos into the path if I wish.
#4: Exit out and let it automatically save.
I do have one area in this Prezi at the end where I have all the titles I talked about. I update that as well for the new books talks.
This has worked very well for me to quickly switch gears between classes and talk about new books with every class.
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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