Book Clubs with Senior Classes

Have you ever tried running a Book Club in your class?

Last year I decided to do book clubs in my class. I grouped the children by level so that the group could read a book appropriate to their level while also encouraging discussion and comprehension strategies. Depending on the policy in your school it might be an ideal opportunity to explore the comprehension strategies with each group.

Set Up:

The groups ranged from 4-6 pupils and all children had one copy of the book. I sourced a lot of my books from Scholastic. They often had books for ranging in price from €2.50 – €5. I’ve sets of My Story Titanic, Roald Dahl Life in Stories and The Jungle Book for my class. I also used Audio Books for struggling readers so that they could participate in the group discussion.

Recording Progress:

I designed my own book club journal for the groups. It included a vocabulary section to record new words and a reading record for parents to sign. Usually my book club ran for 5-6 weeks, up until midterm breaks usually. The Book Club Journal also included a section for a book review and about the author.

Book Club:

The week of the book club day I gave the children pointers for the discussion in book club, whether we were focusing on scene setting, interesting characters or what they were left wondering after they read the book. The children also got to bring in some home baking to share with their group for book club. As they were the Senior Classes they loved sitting and chatting about their book while having a treat. On days of midterms I also gave them an extra special hot chocolate treat too!

At the start of book club I reminded all the groups of the pointers for the book club discussion. Initially they were unsure to share their opinions especially if they didn’t like the book, but over the course of the year they became more confident in expressing their opinion and the reasons why. I do remember The Jungle Book was not a favourite of my class. I always popped around to each group to ask questions about the book and to check their reading record. As the groups were ability based I could vary my questions for each group.

I ran different book clubs throughout the year, and if we were working on a class novel we held a class book club with our reading groups. This always encouraged lots of questions and debates on opinions. As the year went on the children found extracts from books in their class anthology that they wanted to have for book clubs. They were keen to suggest more books that were sequels to novels we read or books they read themselves. We worked on Junior Entrepreneur last year and we used some of our profits to purchase some sets of books for book club.

I really enjoyed book club with my class. They became independent readers and often were encouraged to read books that other groups had as they had heard so much about it.

If you have any questions about my Book Club please send me a PM.

A.M.

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