Idea in the Classroom #1: Book in a Box Project

By admin -


The following assignment was submitted by a grade four teacher named Jennifer from Nova Scotia.  It’s a fun assignment for late elementary students.  Here is the letter that Jennifer sent home to the parents describing the project. We hope you find it useful!

Grade 4 – Book in a Box Project

Dear Parents,

For the second book project of the year, your child is required to read a chapter book. Remember to help your child choose a book that is appropriate for their reading level (a book that is not too hard or too easy). The goal of this project is to clearly understand the story elements for this book; the setting, the main character, the plot, the main problem, and the solution. The book project will be an at-home project. It is due on xxxx.

Directions for the Book in a Box Project:

  1. Choose a book and have fun reading it.
  2. Find a box approximately the size of a shoebox.
  3. Setting: Paint or colour the outside of the box so that it represents the setting of the book.
  4. Main Character: Put in three objects that represent the main character. (1 – to relate to his/her personality, 2 – what he/she likes to do, and 3 – what he/she looks like.)
  5. The plot: Put in five objects that represent what happened throughout the plot.
  6. The Main Problem: Put in one object that represents the central problem in the book.
  7. The Solution: Put in one object that represents the solution to the problem.
  8. Once you have decided on your objects, write, in your neatest handwriting, a list of each object in the box and then a clear explanation of why you put each in there. (What it represents).

For example, if you were reading There’s a Boy in the Girls Bathroom, you might do the following:

Main Character: Bradley Chalkers

  • A passion fruit – A passion fruit represents Bradley’s personality because he is both sweet and sour. In the book he started off mean and was a bully. This is the sour part. By the end of the book, with the help of a counselor, he started to be a sweet and kind boy that everyone liked.
  • A stuffed animal – Bradley liked to play with his stuffed animals. He pretended that they were his friends back when he didn’t have any friends. His sister would make fun of him for this.
  • One black & one green sock – Bradley never paid too much attention to what he wore. In fact one day he was so distracted that he wore two different coloured socks to school.

*You would continue on doing this for the plot objects, the problem object, and the solution object.

*If you are having a hard time finding objects around the house that represent your book, then feel free to make objects. You could draw pictures and then cut them out!

  1. The Presentation: Remember to practice for your presentation of your Book in a Box project! For your presentation, you will go through each of the objects in your box and explain what they represent. Remember to think about eye contact, a nice loud presentation voice, and to emphasize words as you are speaking!


Ms. xxxx


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