Book Punch Takes a Swing at Literary Response


Merit Software has launched a new interactive site focused on developing literary response in young learners. The site, Book Punch, is an offshoot of the company's Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch, both of which focus on writing development. Book Punch, unlike the other two programs, targets literary response specifically, using popular children's literature to get kids to think critically and write coherently about what they read.

Book Punch provides three types of activities for each book:

  • Text to Self, in which students write about their own experiences based on themes from the books;
  • Evidence and Inference, in which students connect details from the books to ideas presented in the books; and
  • Reading Check, in which students write about various aspects of the books to demonstrate basic comprehension.

In addition to these activities, the site provides vocabulary activities, graphic organizers, and writing rubrics; tips for helping students to get through the books; lesson plans and teaching guides; and a teacher management system for teachers to access and comment on students' work.

According to Merit, the site is designed to complement state and local curriculum standards for reading and writing and can be used in single-student, group, or full classroom environments.

Book Punch is live now, with a free demo available. It supports browsers running on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. An annual subscription runs $29 for one book, with discounts available for multiple student and multiple book licenses. There are presently 20 books available through the system, including Because of Winn-Dixie, The Trumpet of the Swan; Frindle; Granny Torrelli Makes Soup; Chocolate Fever; and Sarah, Plain and Tall. More titles will be added soon, according to Merit.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected].

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at [email protected].

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .