For Teachers

Book Smarts

Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) may have more trouble with traditional book report school assignments than their non-ADD peers. Here are 17 creative projects to test how well they understand a book.

A painting can be a good alternative book report
A painting can be a good alternative book report

How can you draw on the interests and strengths of all students in the classroom? By allowing those with ADHD (or the entire class) to choose from a menu of projects related to a book they have read.

Let ADD/ADHD Students Act Out the Book:

Act out a phone conversation between two or more characters in the book.

Perform an original song related to the story.

Be a TV interviewer, and audio- or videotape an interview with a character in the book.

Play a prosecuting attorney. Put one of the characters on trial for a crime. Prepare your case, giving your arguments and supporting them with facts.

Let Them Draw, Design, or Write Out Scenes from the Book

Draw a map or diagram of the story’s setting.

[The Big List of ADHD School Resources from ADDitude]

Design a poster advertising the book.

Create a book with pictures or symbols on one side and a list of important events or a summary on the other.

Create a picture postcard of the setting. On the back, write to a friend as if you were the main character in the book, and describe the setting and events happening there.

Make a T-shirt for your main character that represents attributes of the character’s personality.

Write a letter to a friend, telling her or him about the most exciting parts of the book.

Develop a new ending or a sequel.

[Free Handout: Solving Challenges in the Classroom]

Write a letter to the main character, suggesting what might have happened if he had acted differently.

Design a book jacket.

Let Them Make Puzzles, Games, and Scrapbooks

Create a literary scrapbook about a character in the book, pictures, award certificates, and report cards.

Build a board game based on the book.

Present memory basket, with items representing events or themes in the story.

A crossword puzzle using words and characters from the story.

[Free Resource: How Teachers Can Manage Common ADHD Behaviors]

More Creative Solutions for ADHD Students

Fun & Games: Help ADD/ADHD Children Learn From Play

Four Fun Activities: Teach ADD/ADHD Kids How to Count, Multiply, and Become More Comfortable with Numbers

When Traditional School Fail: Homeschooling May Be a Better Option for ADD/ADHD Students

Adapted with permission from and How to Reach & Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, Second Edition, copyright 2005, and The ADD/ADHD Checklist, Second Edition, copyright 2008, by Sandra F. Rief.