How to Engage Your Readers With Book Snaps

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Snapchat is ultra-popular with students, so I knew anything that made the app's influence educationally appropriate and meaningful would be a hit. This led me to create my new favorite resource: Book Snaps!


Book Snapchats are a great way to engage students in a deeper understanding of any work! They can be used to introduce options for choice reading, or students can create their own as an enrichment analysis activity. They also make fun classroom decor. Use the free template to create your own!


Book Snaps are an interactive and engaging activity for ANY book! The Book Snap is comprised of a snap (a picture) that represents the work and a caption (a quotation from the work). They are perfect for introducing a snapshot of a book during a choice reading unit, like The Critical Thinker's Novel Study, or an enrichment activity to engage students in higher-order analysis. As a bonus, they look beautiful printed and displayed around the room for trendy and meaningful classroom decor. Keep reading for my free template so you and your students can make your own.

Introducing Book Options

To introduce the book options for our choice reading unit, I used my own clever Book Snaps. They were perfect to give students a snapshot of the book without judging it by its cover.
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I wrapped each book in black paper, like a gift, and created a Book Snap for each book (more on that below). Once I had my Book Snaps ready to go, I taped them to the corresponding wrapped books and placed each book with a group of desks. (I also added a short summary of the work to accompany the Book Snap.)

Book Snapchats are a great way to engage students in a deeper understanding of any work! They can be used to introduce options for choice reading, or students can create their own as an enrichment analysis activity. They also make fun classroom decor. Use the free template to create your own!

Students moved around the classroom to each station to learn about the books and pick their favorite option.

Enrichment Activity 

These Book Snaps also make a great activity for students as an additional analysis for your choice reading assignment or any reading assignment. You can download the template here:

Ask students to find a picture that represents a "snap" of the book and a corresponding quotation for that picture. I advise students to use Open Educational Resources (OERs), so that they are only using images with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they are completely free to use without attribution. Unsplash and Pexels are our favorite OERs for this project. They should add emojis and hashtags that would enhance that Book Snap. The beauty of this activity is that even if you're doing a whole class novel, you are certain to have MANY different Book Snaps.

Below is a demonstration for how to create a Book Snap. You can show your students for a quick tutorial.
video

Once they're completed, I ask students to present an explanation for their Book Snaps to the class. I ask them to tell us what they did and why. My AP Literature students create Book Snaps as a review for the Open-Ended Free Response Question on the AP exam. They work really well for this review because the visuals and quotations make them particularly memorable. Maybe they'll even remember that Book Snap quotation to impress the AP readers!

Don't forget to display your Book Snaps around the room. I love how they look on cardstock or photo paper.

Check out the first post in this choice reading series, "How to Engage Your Readers With Choice Reading: The Set Up," here.

Happy Snappin'!




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