Judging a Book by its Cover

3, 4, 5

The purpose of this lesson is for students to share their feelings about a book while they create a book cover. The books will then be donated to a school or organization where students’ covers will be shared with the recipients of the book.

PrintTwo 60-minute class periods

The learner will:

  • read a book from the donation pile and respond to the text.
  • create a book cover that communicates facts and feelings about a chosen book.
  • Construction paper
  • Markers/Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stickers, glitter, and any other decorating materials
Home Connection 

Parents can assist students in selecting books to donate.They can discuss which books the student enjoyed, what they liked about it, and how they think it will benefit others.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to review in their own words the goals and plans for the book drive. Ask them to brainstorm why people give or volunteer their time, talent, and treasure for others. Encourage students to share how they feel about their book drive service project.

  2. Explain to students that they are going to create book covers for some of the books that they have decided to donate for the book drive. The purpose of the cover is to communicate what the book is about and get someone interested in reading it.

  3. Encourage the students to do their personal best in order to make the cover an attractive part of the gift. Students should use neat handwriting, accurate spelling, and neat pictures.

  4. Suggestions for the cover layout:

    • Front Cover: book title, author, and a picture
    • Inside Flaps: about the book drive and the person donating the book
    • Back Cover: book review, including what they hope others will learn from the book
  5. Assist students in cutting out covers that are the appropriate size for their books (alternatively, if books have already been collected, the teacher can pre-cut covers for the books).

  6. Allow students time to create their covers using pictures and writing.

  7. When finished, allow students to share their covers with each other (as a whole class, in small groups, or with a partner).

  8. Collect all books with covers and put them in a separate box from the other books to be donated. The books with covers will be presented separately from the other books.


Assess student quality of work on the book covers.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify why people practice philanthropy related to their own self-interest.
      3. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.
      4. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.