Printed books vs Electronic books or E-readers

Subject: Cross-cutting themes
Summary: Students compare e-readers to printed books and try to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of both. While doing so they also analyze a certain book and learn to know the characteristics of a book whether printed or not.
Activity length: Duration is 90 minutes (2x45 min).
  • Students react to a problem of today’s society and express their opinion.
  • Students collaborate with colleagues to solve the problem and construct arguments to express their point of view.

Teacher prepares few books of their choosing and at least one e-reader, preferably more, depending on the size of the class. Teacher prepares a flipchart.


Part 1: By using the cluster method, the teacher proposes to the students to find all the words connected to the word „book”. Students offer words that are connected to the term “book” and the teacher notes them down on a flip chart. They compare whether those words apply for both printed and e-books.

Teacher asks the students which is the latest book they have read and if their book was printed on paper or an electronic version. The teacher offers the students some books printed on paper and an e-reader.

Part 2: The teacher divides the class into 4 groups of 6 students each and asks the students to think of advantages and disadvantages of printed or electronic books. The method 6/3/5 is used: 6 students find 3 solutions in 5 minutes.

Group 1 writes the advantages of the printed books,

Group 2 writes the disadvantages of printed books,

Group 3 writes the advantages of e-books,

Group 4 writes the disadvantages of electronic books.

After the 5 minutes, a representative from each group gathers all the members’ ideas. Each group presents, in turn, orally, one advantage or one disadvantage until all ideas are communicated.

Ex. Group 1 – Printed books do not require a battery or electric light connection. (A)

Group 2 – Printed books take more space in your baggage (D)

Group 3- Electronic books are free/may be free (A)

Group 4- Electronic books may be easily stolen from your luggage (D)

Part 3: Maintaining the division from the previous activity, the same groups, the students have to make a poster within each group for publishing a book either in a printed version or electronic. They will write the name of the author, the title, the Printing House, the town and the year of publication, the price and a suggestive drawing.  The students make the posters and present them in front of the class together, so each student even if they are shy or bold have the chance of exposure. They vote for the most inspirational poster.


The teacher proposes the students to write a letter addressed to a French friend in which they discuss the latest book they have read.

Books and posters can be chosen keeping in mind the current task or books read in class so the work can be graded.