Implementation of ‘You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover. Or Can You?’ (SOI-PT-168)

Besides teaching English as a Foreign Language in Portugal, I’m a reading addict and have long been involved in reading projects. It was therefore easy for me to choose a Learning Scenario for my own Story of Implementation.
The LS “You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you?” was originally created and implemented by Katarzyna Siwczak, but taking into account the current confinement situation the COVID-19 created, I adapted it to an online environment.

Steps of the learning activity

The session will be online, using, and

  • After our greetings and general explanation of the session’s goals, the Teacher (T.) shares the screen with one of Europeana’s Pinterest boards. This album shows people reading and, for brainstorming, the T. asks what do you think they are reading? What genre? As it would be confusing in an online session to have 20 students (Ss) talking at the same time, the T. shares the link for an AnswerGarden for the Ss to share their ideas.
  • The T. then shares the screen again this time with a Europeana Gallery with book covers and, for the same reasons, the T. shares the link for a new AnswerGarden so that the Ss can speculate about the book content based on their book covers. 
  • The T. selected 10 books (some already read by the Ss, others they are supposed to read as part of our reading group, but all have unfamiliar book covers) and share the link for a matching exercise with book covers and the corresponding titles. In the chatbox, Ss will let the T. know when they finish it.
activity on AnswerGarden
  • Next Students are challenged to play a memory game, matching the book cover with the corresponding description and, again, they write in the chatbox as soon as they finish it this time also adding how many turns were needed to complete it successfully).
activity on AnswerGarden
Visual of the random picker wheel used for the activity
Visual of the random picker wheel used for the activity
  • After that, The T. as the meeting host, splits the participants into 10 breakout rooms, in other words, 10 separate sessions, so that the Ss can work in pairs and the T. can switch between sessions at any time thus providing the necessary assistance to each of the groups. Each pair is assigned a book / a worksheet to work on for about 10min. After that, all are back to the main room and the T. will give voice to the pairs, one at a time to present their conclusions.
  • Again the Ss will work in breakout rooms for a new assignment: to research their book title in order to accomplish the tasks in this worksheet for the next 15min. Back to the main room, in inverted order, each group will briefly present their results.


To wrap up, the T. asks the Ss to grab their handheld devices and cast their votes on Mentimeter for “What makes a good book cover” using the code 684114.

Visual on how to access Mentimeter

Final Outcomes

All materials will be shared in a google drive folder. Before the end of this session though, the T. challenges the pairs of Ss to create, for their previously assigned title,

  • A new book cover or
  • A book trailer.

The book cover may be created in Canva, AdobeSpark or any other tool Ss are familiar with. As for the final products, they will also be shared in the aforementioned google drive folder as well as compiled in an ebook.

As these activities are thought for a reading group and not specifically for a class, there are no rubrics but there is always time and opportunity for constructive feedback, peer to peer and from the Teacher.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario: You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you? created by Katarzyna Siwczak

Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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