As a librarian, you are constantly finding creative resources to get your students to fall in love with books. Why not utilize the format of one of their favorite apps, “Snapchat”? No, you don’t have to have your students download the app. “Book Snaps” simply are digital images or photos where students can annotate or share their own ideas about a book. Learn all about Book Snaps and how to use them in your library classroom!
Apps to Use for Book Snaps
To begin, your students will take a photo or a screenshot of a page of text. It can be a digital or physical book. In order to annotate the text and add fun images and reactions, they can use any app that allows for editing.
- The native photo app on most phones
- Google Slides
- Google Drawings. . .and more!
How to Create a Book Snap
To create a book snap, simply have your students take a photo with a phone or other device of their book. If they have a digital book, they can take a screenshot. Next have them use one of the apps mentioned above (or the editing tools in their camera app) to annotate the text.
Book Snaps generally have three pieces. First, your student will want to create some image. This may be some clip art added, a Bitmoji, or a drawing. Next, they will make a comment or reflection. Finally, they will highlight the portion of the text that provides evidence to their comment.
For example, in the image above from Wonder , the student asked the question, “Why does the kid think his face isn’t normal? What’s wrong?” They highlighted “. . .that I had a normal face that one one ever noticed. . .” and “I’m kind of used to how I look by now.” The student also added their Bitmoji to personalize the Snap.
Comments can range from observations, questions about characters, plot, or vocabulary, or reflections on theme. They can also be connections to real life including world, self, or even to other texts.
Try It Out For Yourself!
Before introducing your library students to Book Snaps, try some for yourself! Use your favorite elementary or YAL books from the library, or even a text that your students are reading in their own classrooms. If you use Seesaw or Google Classroom with your library students, post your Book Snaps to get them excited about reading.
How to Use Book Snaps in the Library
I’ve seen Book Snaps used in so many content areas, especially ELA! Fortunately, Book Snaps in the library are easy and you have all the books you need! There are so many ways to use Book Snaps. Here are a few that your students will love!
Have your students create a book snap with a one sentence summary after they finish a book. No spoilers, of course. This is a great way to tease books and get students interested. Bonus: When the book summaries come from their peers, they are even more excited to read them!
Students love series books! Whether it’s <em>Harry Potter</em> or Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novels (beginning with <em>Smile</em>, sharing connections throughout the series of books can get students excited to read more! Series snaps are perfect for making predictions or noting character changes throughout the novels.
I love to connect with authors, and the best place I’ve found is Twitter! Have your students send you Book Snaps that you can in turn tweet to authors. Just make sure to tag their Twitter handle. It’s really common for popular authors to respond to student and teacher tweets.
Try Book Snaps in your library lessons, share with other teachers, and enjoy! Book Snaps are one of my favorite ways to engage with text. It’s also a fun way to use technology and images in your library curriculum!