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5th grade book report - please critique


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This is our first year homeschooling, and the subject I was most nervous about teaching was writing. I think his writing seems decent, but I guess I don't really know what to expect and would love to hear from others, especially that have had experience with several kids this age. This is from today's R&S English 5 assignment to write a book report. The directions included what each paragraph should contain: book info, setting, plot, opinion. Thanks for any feedback!


This was without my help.



The Lightning Thief was written by Rick Riordan. This book was first published in 2005 by Scholastic and then republished in 2010 by Scholastic, but with a different cover. This book can be found at your local library or bookstore.


Percy, a New Yorker and Poseidon's son has been to six diferent schools in the past six years. He has ADHD and dyslexia. Annabeth, a year-round camper at Camp Half-Blood and a daughter of Athena, is Percy's first friend at Camp Half-Blood. Grover, a satyr, is Percy's best friend who is pretty funny.


Someone has stolen Zeus's Master Bolt, and Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are on a quest to find it. But Hades has stolen Percy's mom, and to bring her back is the main reason Percy agreed to this quest. They fight monster after monster, and then they go to the underworld, because they have reason to suspect that Hades used a half-blood to steal it.


I enjoyed reading about Percy's adventures a lot. The Lightning Thief is one of my favorite books ever. My favorite part was when they went to the Lotus Casino, and Grover said, "Die human! Die silly, nasty polluting person!" To find out what happens to Percy and his friends, you'll have to read The Lightning Thief.

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I really enjoyed his book report. It looks like he nailed the assignment. I liked his use of appositives. One appositive phrase, the one in the second paragraph, is missing a comma. I liked his use of dialogue to make it the report more interesting.


Great job!!! I should say, I'm here to learn as well and I also have a 5th grader but I gave my unprofessional opinion. :D

Edited by Capt_Uhura
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Thank you for the feedback. I was beginning to wonder if it was terrible! I did ask him to look over it to see where he might be missing a comma and he noticed the one you mentioned.


This is kind of silly, but should he be directly addressing the reader? He does that a lot (I think too much), and it is starting to seem to me to be the easy way out to either introduce or conclude a paper. In his science papers, he often begins something like this: "Have you ever wondered why some birds don't seem to flap their wings much?" I guess this is ok, but it seems like he is avoiding using a catchier "hook". He often concludes papers sort of like he did here.

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The thing about a book report is that it is designed specifically to get a reader interested in the book in question. So in that context, I think addressing the reader directly is appropriate. I wouldn't necessarily think that it would be appropriate in a science report or another kind of report.


Good point. I think you're probably right. Thanks! I think he's read too many science magazines or seen Bill Nye where they start out addressing the reader/viewer.

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The book report sounds great. He did a great job of sticking to the organization dictated by the assignment. I only have one tiny quibble. You said the second paragraph should be about the setting; however, his second paragraph is about the characters, not setting. Describing the characters fits the report perfectly and dovetails nicely with the following paragraph about plot. However, technically he didn't follow the instructions.


If your son wants to push his writing to the next level, try reworking the third paragraph to flow from "known information" to "new information." For example, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover were introduced in the 2nd paragraph, so start the first sentence of the 3rd paragraph with them: " Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are on a quest to find Zeus's stolen Master Bolt." Do the same in the following sentence; work from the known (the quest) to the new (Hades stole Percy's mom). "The main reason Percy agreed to this quest ..."


This skill (writing from the known to the new) is an advanced skill, but he might be ready to be introduced to it.

Edited by Kuovonne
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