Weird Books

My favorite kind of edtech use- free, quick and slightly odd1.

The Weird Book Room is, obviously, a collection of really odd book titles and covers2 This is prime fodder for all kinds of entertaining creative writing activities.

Things I would want to try-

  • Show the students three or four covers/titles. Their task is to pick one3 and write a Amazon style summary of the book totally based off the odd title and cover. The focus here would be on style, looking at how these reviews generate interest and what structural components they normally contain.
  • Instead of a summary write a review of the book as if you’ve read it. Give it 1 or 5 starts and write your review accordingly. I’d put a heavy slant on opinion and bias on this one, encouraging students to put themselves in personality roles with strong opinions and assuming that voice.
  • Use the titles in poetry. Students could just use the title as the first line, or they have to use X number of words from the provided titles. Lots of options.
  • If you had the time, students could write the book or at least a pitch for the book. Have them generate a character list, plot summary, etc.
  • As a frustrated art teacher, I’d give the titles and have students create the covers.

1 Thinking about it, it’s more about access to odd information and visuals. The tech part is relatively insignificant but could be expanding in most of the examples depending on what you had access to. For instance, with the time and inclination you might want to

2 Appropriateness varies. Probably not safe to have your kids wandering around on their own unless you live in Amherst, MA.

3 Choice is always good, but not too much choice or it’ll take forever.