Coast-to-Coast Book Design—Part 1: What is a book?

By Donna Sharpe, October 1, 2006

Grade Level

  • Middle School


  • Product Design

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Technology

Lesson Time

One fifty-minute class period


In this first of four lessons on book design, students will be introduced to the vocabulary of book design through the use of bookwalks and a non-linear PowerPoint presentation in game-show (Jeopardy!) format.

National Standards

Information Literacy Standards 
Standard 1: The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  • 1.2. Knows parts of a book and digital resources. (CSLA)
  • 1.2.1 Identifies parts of a book: cover, title, title page, author, illustrator, spine and spine label. (CSLA)
  • 1.2.2 Identifies parts of a book: table of contents, publisher, page numbers, copyright date and call number. (CSLA)
  • 1.2.3 Identifies parts of a book: glossary, index and dedication. (CSLA)
Standard 5: The student who is an independent learner is information literate and appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information.
  • 5.2 Appreciates Creative Expressions in All Formats. (CSLA)
  • 5.2.4 Demonstrates growing appreciation of literary and artistic heritage. (CSLA)
  • 5.2.5 Appreciates the effects of society, politics, science and technology on literature and other creative forms of expression. (CSLA)
Technology Standards
2. Social, ethical and human issues.  Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
English Language Arts Standards
6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g. spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts Standards Writing 

Grade 6-8

Production and Distribution of Writing:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

English Language Arts Standards: Speaking and Listening

Grade 6-8

Comprehension and Collaboration:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)



Students will be introduced to and be able to recognize the basic parts of a book in order to continue with this four part book-design unit.


  • computer capable of running PowerPoint presentation
  • speakers
  • data projector


  • "Parts of a Book" game-show style PowerPoint presentation. (attached)
  • old, discardable book which can be torn up for demonstration
  • several picture books—ABC-style (recommendations in the attached works cited list)
  • paper and writing implements for all students


  • Cover-page protector
  • Spine-holds the front and back covers together
  • Call Number-number used in Dewey or Library of Congress systems to locate a book
  • Spine Label-label located on spine of book where Call Number is printed
  • Dedication-Author/Illustrator's statement of gratitude
  • Title-name of the book
  • Title Page-page stating title, author, illustrator, and publisher
  • C.I.P. (Cataloging in Publication)-location of legal information, esp. copyright date
  • Author-writer
  • Illustrator-artist
  • Copyright-law that gives the author/illustrator protection that their work can't be copied without permission
  • Publisher-company which pays author, prints copies, sells to dealers, bookstores and libraries
  • Table of Contents-list of sections in a book
  • Index-alphabetized list of all the subjects mentioned
  • Glossary-book's own dictionary
  • Font-set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size
  • Flyleaf-half of the front or back end sheet not glued to the cover


  • Prepare classroom for PowerPoint presentation. Run through presentation at least once to get a feel for the timing and find the sound effects on "final jeopardy" slide.
  • Prepare display ofABC books listed in works cited.
  • Locate an old, discardable book which you can easily tear apart for the session.
Teacher Presentation and Motivation    
  • Open class discussion with an announcement that you will present a game-show style quiz at the end of the session and all answers will be mentioned in your upcoming demonstration.
  • Draw attention to the display ofABC books and talk briefly about each of the books and why you found them interesting (see annotated work cited list).
  • Introduce students to the unit (coast-to-coast book design).
  • Announce that the unit will begin with a game-show about the parts of a book, and then the students will have lessons on design, book creation, and self-publication.
  • Discuss types of bindings (hard vs. soft covers) and the parts of a hard-bound text, demonstrating the necessity of cover (to protect the pages) and spine (to hold cover together) by ripping spine off of old book attempting to hold it upright.
  • Point out the other relevant parts of the book with brief discussion of their purpose, including call number, spine label, dedication, title, title page, CIP, Author, Illustrator, copyright, publisher, table of contents, index, glossary, font, and flyleaf.
  • Teacher motivation is to promote student's interest in parts of a book.
  • Play Jeopardy! PowerPoint presentation.
Step-by-step process of the activity
  • Optional: group students into teams.
  • Begin "Book Jeopardy" PowerPoint by selecting "view show" from the slide show option on top toolbar or selecting screen icon located on left bottom toolbar.
  • Ask students if they recognize the format of the first slide-have them explain how the game is played, then restate the general rules of the game-students must select a column and amount they would like to play for, the answer will then appear, and the student will have to provide the 'question' in order to earn points. Points will be deducted for incorrect answers and student will lose their turn.
  • Use class roster or a list of team names/numbers to keep track of student scores.
  • Inform all students (teams) that they will need two pieces of paper in order to complete the game.
  • Begin game by selecting the column and amount a student chooses, then select "Answer" for to illuminate the answer.
  • After students have adequate time (30 seconds-1 minute) select "Question" to illuminate the correct response.
  • Select red "home" icon button to return to the title slide and allow the same student (team) to select again if they were correct or move on to another student (team) to begin their turn.
  • When all categories and amounts have been selected, move on to the "Final Jeopardy" question, asking students (teams) to wager the amount of points they want to wager.
  • Select the "Final Jeopardy" link from the home page. Inform students that they will have to write their answer to the final question.
  • The Jeopardy! theme-music will play once "Answer" icon is selected. Allow theme music to play in it's entirety before asking students to show their responses.
  • Music will discontinue once "Question" is selected. It can be restarted by selecting small sound icon in lower right corner.
  • Winner is student (team) with the most points remaining.
  • Congratulate students on a well-played game.
  • Remind them that the next lesson in the unit will be on design. Then, they will begin the process of creating a coast-to-coast book that will be published!


Students will demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge regarding the parts of a book by their success in answering the Jeopardy! questions. No rubric applies.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Invite interested students to use the Jeopardy PowerPoint presentation and use it as a template to create their own version of the game to be presented in another cross-curricular setting. (This is permissible use-see "Help" slide with copyright information.)

Teacher Reflection

My difficulty with this introductory lesson to our coast-to-coast book design unit was that the game-show portion was too brief.  The students were wildly successful at answering the questions (except for the final questions, of course) and I could have benefited from having many, many more questions available to them.  Students who struggled would have benefited from paying closer attention during the discussion/demonstration portion of the lesson. The multi-media instructional tools were most successful because of the novelty. Next time I present the lesson I would provide a written list of the vocabulary that will be covered for the students to write in the answers, and then turn in before the game started.

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