It's no secret that I love a good cumulative novel project as an assessment. I usually spend the entire novel brainstorming how we can sum it up! Sometimes the projects are a miss (you don't get to read about those!) but sometimes they are great successes. Like the character project we completed for Rules or the reading skills review project for The Westing Game, this novel project was a huge hit with my students.
This is actually the last project we did at the end of the school year last year. I knew that I needed a book that would keep the students on the edge of their seats, so The Phantom Toolbooth fit the bill. When we were finishing up in the last few weeks of school, I knew that the project would need to be equally engaging. I couldn't imagine giving my students an essay test at the end of the year, but I also needed a great assessment to gauge their understanding of the book, of the content, and of some of the skills we had worked on that quarter. So, the Amazon.com Listing Cumulative Novel Project was born!
Before I introduced the project to the students, I pulled up an Amazon listing page for a book we had previously read. We talked about all the elements that it included and what stuck out to us. Then, we read a few of the reviews that people had written, as well as the formal editorial reviews on the page. I would highly recommend this step because the students were hooked on making their own page after I showed them the real page.
After analyzing a real listing page, I gave them their assignment sheet.
You can download the assignment sheet for free HERE.
It is fairly self explanatory, especially after the students have already seen the examples of a real listing. I have tried to break it down as simply as possible on the assignment page. They make a book cover, write a summary, select quotes, write a review and more! They are actually doing MORE than something like an essay test would require of them, but they never realize it, and they love doing it. Some of my students even posted their reviews on the real Amazon site when we were finished.
Here is an example of one student's project. I just love how they came out!