Email students the following instructions (or share instructions with them as a Google Doc):
Write a critical review for the novel you chose to read. Each review should be 1 page typed, double-spaced, with your name, date, and title on top.
1. Read the book.
2. Type the review on Google Docs.
3. Share with firstname.lastname@example.org (your email address)
4. Search for your book by title and author on Google Books.
5. Click on the "Write a Review" link on your book's page.
6. Copy & paste your review from Google Docs into the Google Books review and post.
Before you begin, visit Roger Ebert's review of the movie "Titanic" to see how a critical review for a movie is written. A movie review is similar in many ways to a book review, and is written essentially for the same purpose. Ebert's review will give you another model to consider when writing your own critical review. Notice that his review is more than a simple summary of the plot. What else does he discuss? What details are included? How does he begin and end his review? Think about these questions as you are writing.
The book review is a test grade. If you have any questions or issues, let me know in class or send me an email. The review must be completed before the end of the 9 weeks to receive credit. See attached document for more information, a brief explanation of book reviews, and several links to online resources.
Share with the students a Google Doc on writing a critical review, complete with links to example reviews online. See attachment below.
Direct the students to Roger Ebert's review of the movie Titanic, and display on the projector. Have students take turns reading the review aloud, and discuss how he has written the review, what elements he has included, how he has expressed his opinions, and what details or facts from the plot he has shared with his audience. Just as Ebert's review of the movie differs from a simple synopsis of the plot, explain the ways a book review differs from a book report.
Direct students to the Google Books website, and illustrate the layout using the digital projector. Show the students how to find several examples from your list of appropriate books, and demonstrate how to use the table of contents feature, as well as the zoom in and out buttons.
Have the students navigate to the Google Docs page and create a new document. Require students to name the document with both their first and last names as well as the title and author of the book. For example, "Johnny Student - Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut." Then require students to share the document with the teacher, selecting the "to edit" feature so that the teacher may edit and make changes to the document as needed. Review the instructions again if needed. Set work timelines if needed. Remind students that they must receive approval to post their review on Google Books, and that once posted they must email the teacher with the web address of their posted review.