The following blog post, “Not Your Traditional Book Club,” was featured on the AASL Website, written by Ronda Hughes, and posted on Nov. 2, 2018.
Book clubs have been a staple in school libraries for years. Usually the same few students show up each time, because they genuinely love books. While every school librarian is pleased that they attend, it would be nice to add more faces to the mix. In order to appeal to the masses, you’ve got to mix it up. But how?
Different Types of Book Clubs
Virtual Book Club
Sometimes students don’t attend because they don’t want to miss their social time. So…have virtual meetings using www.flipgrid.com or www.padlet.com. Set up the club and give students the code to join, then post a prompt. Students can post when they have time. Club members can view the video posts of the other participants, and even respond to them, on their schedule.
Connected Book Club
I have had several book clubs that my students and students attending other schools either in my state or in another state shared the same reading schedule. We used Skype or Google Hangout to connect our students to discuss the book that they’ve been reading. Students love connecting with students outside of their school.
Collaborated Book Club
I have scheduled a book club in which I will be collaborating with a classroom teacher to read a book with her entire enrichment class. I think this will prove to be a great idea.
Book Club Activities
I start my first meeting by discussing the story elements. Students are usually still unsure of the procedures of a book club. I ease further into the discussion by explaining a connection that I have to the book. I strategically choose a connection that will encourage students to respond and share. Students typically always make some type of connection, whether to their self, to the text, or to the world. Since I usually meet with students during their lunch we only have about 20-25 minutes, the first meeting starts slowly but ends with lots of conversation.
Make and Take
I choose some part of the story that students can create and take with them. I recently held a book club, Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry that had an important scene at the annual Moon Festival. So my students made Chinese lanterns of their own. One of my book clubs read Wonder by R.J. Pollacio. Students used www.wordart.com to create a self-describing shape poem using a facial image.