The Importance of Book Covers

I would like to say I choose a book for its content rather than the look of its cover, but in reality, I tend to choose a book that makes me want to read more at first glance.

Having observed children choose reading materials over my teaching career, it is clear that we are all influenced by thoughtful and considerate design.

I wanted to make cover design an integral part of the reading and comprehension process. Before we started to read the book, I used a cover reveal to teach the children about predictive inference. Prediction increases engagement and creates anticipation.

"Skilled readers learn to expect the actions, events and ideas that are coming up in the text" (Davis, 2015)

The book cover is revealed as shown in the order of image below. After each image is revealed we pause and write our predictions. As a class, we create a record of their predictions using a shared document. As the story is revealed, we revisit their predictions to see if they were correct; this ignites rich conversation leading up to the final activity.

 

Example of how the book cover is revealed to the students . Showing a small portion at at time.
Revealing the cover
 
The students predict what they think the book is about
Student predictions
Once we had completed The Explorer by Katherine Rundell asked the children to redesign the cover of the book based on their knowledge of the story. The traditional book review has immense value, but I decided to use cover design to assess the children's comprehension of the text we had just completed. I felt this activity allowed the children to express their comprehension skills in an alternative way creatively. I provided the children with different books at their stations, and they wrote a list of what they felt their cover should contain. We then decided on the criteria as a class.

 

Checklist for the front cover
Checklist
I asked my students to create a digital cover with animation and a static image for a print version of the book. The children used Keynote to create their designs. Using Apple Classroom I airdropped a custom slide template to the class.The children were also provided with a selection of reviews to use on their covers. I have included a sample of what could be created by students below.  

Book cover showing a plane and 4 children lost after a plane crash.  The cover also contains quotes
Book Cover Student Design Example
 

At the end of the topic, we discussed how we might enhance the books in the future. Some children said they would like to be able to scan the front cover with their iPad and hear a review from a child that had read the book. We then discussed what apps we could use to create this, and the children decided on Halo AR and Clips.

If you would like to read an excerpt of the book, Book Trust have a sample on their website.



 

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All Comments

Posted on August 30, 2022

I love this idea and how it encourages students to think creatively and make predictions.

Posted on August 31, 2022

Thank you JJ!

Posted on October 19, 2022

What a great project! I like the spin on the traditional book review and turning the “judge a book by its cover” phrase on its head!

Posted on October 22, 2022

Thank you 😊

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