If your students just completed reading a book, short story, or poem, here’s some inspiration for a creative final assessment. All of these no-tech ideas may not be brand-new to you, but sometimes we can use a little refresher, or try out a twist on the tried-and-true.
Another great bonus about these little ideas is that they require very minimal printing of packets and handouts. Students can complete these assignments with pen and paper, and with whatever materials they happen to have available to them. (No internet, smart phone, or technology of any kind needed!)
Design a board game based on the text
Students can use anything they have around the house to create a board game centered on the book, poem, or story that they read.
Requiring them to write a detailed instruction sheet will be great practice in technical writing.
Require some aspect of play to include players correctly answering questions about the literary aspects of the work. Students must write the questions and answers. Give suggestions or further requirements as needed.
Rewrite a passage
Assign (or let students choose!) a particular passage, scene, or conversation from the text and have them re-write it from a different character’s perspective or in a different setting.
This will be a great opportunity to work on their creative writing skills without the intimidation of having to come up with their own storyline.
Additionally, it should prompt a deeper analysis of the text, author’s choices, and characters’ insight. Maybe provide a scaffold of guiding analysis questions for students to complete before they begin their re-write.
If they’re including scenes with dialogue, print out this handy infographic for them to refer to.
For extra creativity, consider having students rewrite a scene from the viewpoint of an animal or personified inanimate object.
Write a letter to the author OR as the author
Have students write an old-fashioned, snail-mail letter to the author of the text.
Give some parameters for what exactly they should write about– prompt them to include some literary analysis, and perhaps provide some sentence stems if needed. “I appreciated your use of figurative language, such as…”
Or, try prompting students to write a letter to the reader as if they were the author. The letter could be a precursor to the book, an apology, or maybe further explanation of his or her choices.
Design an app
This might be the least academic option, but it sure would be fun! (And depending on what spin you put on it, you could definitely cover some standards… somehow :))
Have students write a description/ make sketches for screenshots of/ write marketing copy for an app they design based on the book. Maybe an app that the characters could have used, or an app that would have changed the outcome of the story, or an app centered on the theme or moral of the work.
Write a newspaper or magazine article
Have students write and/ or design an article, news story, or entire magazine or newspaper edition based on the text.
This would be yet another creative writing opportunity, probably another good way to practice those punctuating dialogue skills, etc.
Encourage them to think about news stories and headlines they’ve seen, or magazine or blog articles they might have read, and use those as inspiration. A style piece about the fashion choices in the work, a scandal piece about a shocking event in the story, a biography about the author (if research resources are available)… the possibilities are endless!
If you’re also in the market for some more traditional ideas, check out my Book Report Series of blog posts for some additional suggestions for post-reading assessments.