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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Book Talks

Metropolitan Nashville Public School teachers attended the Swap Symposium this summer. We were able to focus on new skills and earn credit so we could swap two days in the fall and have an entire week off for Fall Break. I attended a session called Book Talks Galore: Entice, Gush, Emote, and More!  presented by a third grade teacher Sophia Birdwell.

Sophia shared an article from the International Reading Association by Rachel Fischbaugh called “Using book talks to promote high-level questioning skills.”   While librarians KNOW this information, many classroom teachers seemed surprised by the links to learning through book talks. We have our work cut out for us.

Fischbaugh’s article describes how she modeled high-level questions for the students that “focused on making personal connections.” This corresponds to the AASL Learning Standards #4 The Learner Will Use Skills, Resources, and Tools to Pursue Personal and Aesthetic Growth with skill # 4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience.

Another source we used was Guiding Readers and Writers: Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnel. The basic structure for independent reading has a section on Book Talks and a chart on the student and teacher roles in independent reading. If you haven’t pulled this out lately, you might remind your teachers of this excellent collaborative opportunity.

The Jefferson County School’s website and  provided links to teach “The HOOK.” I won a free poster with The Hook information to teach my students how to present book talks.

Pete’s PowerPoint Station has many power points for instructing readers and writers.

Scholastic Adult Video Book Talk Samples are available at 

Nancy Keane’s Booktalks are at 

Mackin Book Talk! Grades 3-8 has booktalks for several state children’s choice book award programs