My students have not been exposed to much reading for pleasure in their lives. They tend not to own books of their own, and haven’t been to our local library. Aside from the school library, the majority of my kiddos have not been given many opportunities to choose books for themselves.
But they are jazzed this week! We are starting book clubs, and we worked together to determine the structure and guidelines for their clubs. It was quickly determined that they wanted to read humorous books and fantasy, they did NOT want to write summaries – I learned that is what they did last year when they were assigned chapters to read so they were not crazy about summarizing, and they also were adamant that slackers be kicked out of the clubs instead of being dead weight.
Together we made some decisions about how the clubs would run. Groups will meet two to three days a week and all reading will be done outside of class. In lieu of writing summaries, students will be writing a variety of reading responses, which may include timelines of events, character webs, and the like. The blog “Teaching in Room 6” has a great post about reading responses – check it out! Stephanie Moorman is the author of the blog and she provides a link from the her post to her TPT store and the downloads for the reading response sheets. I plan to use some of them with my students.
Those who repeatedly come unprepared or who don’t participate will form their own book club with yours truly. I am hoping I don’t have to lead a book club, since I won’t be able to move from group to group observing and asking questions if I’m riding herd on a group of reluctant readers. I don’t think it’ll happen, but I need a backup just in case.
Friday I’ll pull out the rather large selection of books and give each group time to decide which book they’d like to read. They were pretty excited to learn that I wouldn’t choose the book for them, and that the entire class didn’t have to read the same book. I spent a fair amount of time raiding our reading coach’s shelves to provide appropriate levels of books and a variety at each level. I’m anxious to see if my students remain enthusiastic once they realize how much fun it is to share discussions about good books with others!