You may be asking yourself, What is a Book Club? Well, it is not much different that a book club you find through a book store or one you create with a group of your best friends. Essentially, a book club is a group of people (in this case students) who are reading the same book, then sit together to discuss various aspects of the book, the content, and the messages within the book. It brings a real-world reading experience into your classroom!
I’ve been using book cubs for a few years now and have seen firsthand the high level of engagement this reading strategy brings to my class. Book clubs allow students to work and think collaboratively while also, holding individuals accountable for their own learning.
A few things to keep in mind when deciding to add book clubs to your class:
What is your goal?
Determine what you want your students to get out of the experience. This could be related to standards or could be a simple as developing a love of reading.
Student choice is key to student buy in. There are many different ways to pick books for your book club: topic, author or genre. Have several titles, 5-6 minimum depending on the size of your class, and multiple reading levels. If you school is lucky enough to have a librarian, use them to help you gather appropriate books for your class.
Set clear expectations for students regarding reading their book and how they should prepare for the book club itself. Don’t assume that students understand how to talk about books. Setting clear expectations upfront will help hold all students accountable for learning.
One of the greatest aspects of the book club are the book club meetings. These student-led discussions build student leadership and collaboration skills. It is fascinating to hear where they take the discussion and see the connections they make from the book to real life and to themselves. Book clubs are a strategy that everyone can be successful with no matter their reading level.