Last Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Create a book blurb - second level

What is this?

Below you will find some ideas to support you to design an activity which helps children create a blurb using book illustrations and titles. This will help them to think about the types of books and stories they enjoy reading and would select.

You can use or adapt these for children in your class while they are working remotely. This learning activity is based on second level experiences and outcomes.

When designing learning activities, think about the range of learners in your class and their individual circumstances.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: Second level

  • I regularly select and read, listen to or watch texts which I enjoy and find interesting, and I can explain why I prefer certain texts and authors. LIT 1-11a / LIT 2-11a
  • I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience. LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a

Purpose of the activity

At first level, children learned to select a variety of texts and express a preference for particular types of texts and authors they enjoy.

This activity builds on this learning and supports children to explore their preferences and to select unfamiliar books based on the title, front cover and blurb.

Registering for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge will give you access to a range of resources to promote reading for enjoyment including a quiz on book blurbs

In addition a wide variety of book titles and illustrations are available at the Carnegie Greenaway Awards website.

Learning activities

Using whichever method you use to share home learning activities with the children in your class, consider the following:

  • Explain to the children that they are going to write a blurb for a book based on the book cover and title only.
  • Ask the children to consider the purpose of a blurb.
  • Provide the children with a range of book covers with the titles deleted and book titles from a variety of different genres. It would be useful to select books that the children may not have read.
  • Ask the children to match the titles to the covers and to predict what the books are about.
  • Depending on the age and stage of the children, you may choose to provide them with a short paragraph from the book and ask them to match the titles to the paragraphs.
  • Encourage them to think about the different genres and the reasons for their preferences.
  • Explore with the children which of the selection they would like to read based on the titles and covers.
  • Ask the children to select one book and write a predictive blurb summarising what they think it is about. Support them to think about the following:
    • the setting, including time period e.g. the past, the present or the future
    • the characters
    • the plot
    • the genre
    • the conclusion.
  • When writing their blurb, the children should think about using language to persuade others into reading the book. It be may useful for them to add a cliff hanger sentence.
  • If possible, support the children to access a copy of their book of choice to read and compare their predictions to the book.
  • For additional challenge, the children could write the opening paragraph of the book.

National benchmarks

Depending on a child’s individual stage of development and their prior learning, children will be working towards these benchmarks, by the end of second level.

  • Selects texts regularly for enjoyment or to find information for a specific purpose.
  • Explains preferences for particular texts, authors or sources with supporting detail.
  • Creates texts regularly for a range of purposes and audiences selecting appropriate genre, form, structure and style.

Possible approach to assessing learning

Receiving examples of learning at home from children will help you understand how they are managing the tasks you have set and provide some feedback. Using whichever approaches your school uses to communicate with parents, some of the following may be useful in supporting you to assess and celebrate children’s progress:

  • If possible, children could share their blurb with others or ask others to match their blurb to the book title. Some children may want to upload their blurb to their online learning journal, or online learning space on Google classroom or Microsoft Teams. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps.
Resource subject Literacy and English
Resource type Learning activity
Resource format Webpage