Book Talks, also called Book Commercials, are presenting a 5 minute teaser for a book that students may want to read during Free Voluntary Reading time. Book Commercials are a key component of Krashen’s Sheltered Popular Literature. The purpose of a Book Commercial is simply to introduce and build excitement for books, especially for indecisive or reluctant readers.
Select books that you think kids will love.
I present two books a day from a variety of high-interest books. I make a point of selecting books of varying ability levels and interests, and for different audiences. You may balance out the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series with the Sleepover Girls series.
Books in a series make commericals more efficient; or you may suggest read-alikes or related books.
Involve students when possible.
Ask students to share if they have read the book or similar books. You’ll find that students spontaneously sell the book to their classmates!
(After this happens a few times, pull students aside and praise their ability to talk-up their favorite books. Invite volunteer students to plan and lead their own Book Commercials in a more intentional way.)
Keep it short.
1-2 minutes: watch a book or movie trailer (optional).
1-2 minutes: Read aloud a short synopsis or exciting excerpt.
(Optional) 1-3 minutes: Book Hooks or other novel, fun response-to-text.
1 minute: Announce and give time to sign a waitlist to checkout the book. Make sure children see each other sign up and get excited together. (If there is enough interest, ask students if they prefer to read together in a literary circle.)