Help students look at the major plot points, setting and conflicts between characters for what may be a clear, or perhaps more hidden, message.
Encourage fifth-graders to sum up that message in a word or short phrase before elaborating on the book's theme in the summary.
The time and place in which a story's events occur is often essential to understanding the meanings of a book.
In children's novels where this information isn't explicit, help students analyze context clues to determine the setting.
When students start forming their mature thoughts and viewpoints about their experience regarding many issues in life, including reading books and making different explorations, it is necessary to reflect all this experience in their book report as well.
The book reports serves for describing the detailed student's reaction regarding the book, it makes them form their opinions towards the main characters in the book, as well as the situations and occurrences described in it.
Unlike a book report, a book summary doesn't include the student's personal opinions of the book.
A summary is simply that -- an objective piece that summarizes the key elements of a story.
For example, the events in "Maniac Magee," by Jerry Spinelli, take place in a town where use of drinking fountains and public restrooms is racially segregated.
Exploring this background with your students through illustrated discussions can help them better summarize the book, as well as deepen their understanding of racism in the book and American culture.