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Free Book Talk Template The Reading Roundup

Long gone are the days of the traditional book talks. The ones where the students simply recite the same script: introduce themselves, state the book title, tell a fact about a book, and encourage the audience to check it out. Our students are way too creative for that, so we need to give them a chance to let their creativity shine through their book talks! I created a FREE book talk template for you to use to help your students plan more engaging book talks! 

Dr. Brad Gustafson, an elementary principal in Minnesota, encourages students to “Bring the Heat” to their book talks. His strategy moves students beyond using the same old script in order to create more engaging book talks. Isn’t the purpose of a book talk to spark interest and make someone want to read the book?

Check out Dr. Gustafson explaining the concept of bringing the HEAT to book talks.

Book Talks Strategy: Bring the Heat

Let’s take a quick look at each of the elements of the HEAT method.

Bring the Heat to your Book Talks with these free book talk template from the Reading Roundup.


Grab the attention of the audience to make them want to know more about your book. Some ways to do that include: asking a question, stating an interesting fact, or getting the audience to imagine something. I’ve even had students have a snowball fight to hook in the audience!


How will you show energy in your book talk? Can you change your volume, talk with an accent, use props, or add emotion? This helps create an engaging book talk for your audience.


Consider who is your audience and how can you connect with them. Why should they care about your book? It is helpful to make a connection by mentioning a place they might have been, things they might have done, or people they might know.


Keep it short! The ideal book talk is less than a minute long. Teach your students the art of adding a cliffhanger to leave the audience wanting to know more.

The FREE Book Talk Template

In order to support my students with creating their own book talks, I created graphic organizers based on Dr. Brad Gustafson’s Bringing the HEAT method. This free book talk template walks the students through the process in order to create more engaging book talks.

Book Talks Planning Guide

The first graphic organizer helps the students plan out the strategies they want to implement to make their book talk engaging. It provides suggestions and prompts for each of the HEAT elements. The QR Code leads to the YouTube video explaining how to “Bring the HEAT to Book Talks.” For students who need additional support, it has sentence stems that they can fill in the blanks. (Example: Imagine a scary event. That’s what it was like for character’s name in the book).

Free graphic organizer from The Reading Roundup to help students plan their book talks.

Book Talk Rough Draft

This free rough draft graphic organizer helps students plan their book talks.

The rough draft graphic organizer walks students through the creation of their actual script. It provides suggestions for the book introduction, talking points, and closing. Several sentence stems are also provided for students who need additional scaffolding.

Book Talk Final Draft

The last document allows students to write out their entire script. If students are working with a partner, I have each student write the exact same script on their paper. They then highlight their individual lines on the script. This makes it easier when rehearsing.

Students can use this free final draft graphic organizer as a script when presenting their book talks.

Finalizing the Book Talk

Students can perform their book talks for their classmates, but I highly recommend making it into a video. My students used iPads to record their own book talks and edited them using WeVideo. Our school also has our own YouTube channel where we can post the videos. You can even create QR codes for students to view the videos. It just adds an extra level of excitement for the students.

Examples of Engaging Book Talks

Dr. Brad Gustafson is hosts a yearly Book Talk Tournament featuring 30 second Book Talks from 8 Lead Learners and 8 Literacy Legends. Check them out for some inspiring book talks to get you and your students excited to start creating your own!

Download the FREE Book Talk Template!

Do you want to download this FREE resource to use with your students? Complete the form below to receive the file!

Have you implemented book talks before? What tips and strategies have you found beneficial in helping your students create engaging book talks? You might also be interested in finding out about another way I build excitement about reading with Special Delivery Books!


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Free graphic organizers from the Reading Roundup to use to create engaging book talks.

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    1. You can complete the blue form at the bottom of the post to download the file! Let me know if you have any difficulty accessing the file.

  1. I just emailed it to you, but let me know if you don’t receive it or have difficulties accessing the file!

      1. I just emailed it to you, but let me know if you don’t receive it or have difficulties accessing the file!

  2. I apologize for the difficulty accessing the file. I’ve sent you an email with a link to the resource! Hopefully that works for you!

    1. If you complete the large blue form at the bottom of the post, you’ll receive the free Book Talk forms in your email inbox! Let me know if you still have any difficulties accessing the file!

  3. Got it from the resource library!! Thank you 🙂 It's a GREAT resource, I can't wait to share it with my students!!!