One of my favorite assignments to give to students when they've finished reading a section of a book is to make a soundtrack for the book or chapters.
I love the reasons my students give me for selecting a song. The lyrics may remind them of the character's emotions. Other times the melody reminds them of an event (e.g. it sounds like waves to them and the scene is during a storm). Other times it is just the ambiance that it adds.
Here's an example of the assignment:
I love the assignment because I get to discover new songs, and get an idea of what type of music my students listen to in their free time. I also find that students have to really understand a chapter to pick music for it, which helps their critical thinking skills.
Some students are more comfortable with pen and paper, and others prefer actually making a YouTube Playlist. However, recently I've discovered an online tool called Booktrack! There are a lot of different ways to use Booktrack!
One way, which doesn't require much from students, is to add sounds to what they will be reading at home. This helps students get in the mood, and helps them get sucked into the reading!
Check out the infographic on the right to see what one study done by the University of Auckland showed! To read more about the studies done check out their site! Basically, they will understand more AND enjoy it more wen they are reading and listening.
In the future I plan on assigning each of my students a different book to read at home. I feel that having them summarize what they've read and add sounds for mood to their summary would be a GREAT assignment.
If you're working with public domain stories (Shakespeare, Grimm Fairy Tales, etc.), you can divide the class so that each student has a different chapter. Have them individually make a booktrack and then assemble is together for a reading experience future classes can enjoy!