If my last post didn’t convince you to try book clubs in your secondary ELA class, here are five additional reasons to consider!
As you can see, I’m very passionate about adding book clubs as a strategy in secondary ELA. I have found no other reading strategy as successful as book clubs. Students who are not normally engaged in reading activities begin to read more, share what they are reading and their growth begins to take off. If you do the hard work ahead of time, the payoff is unbelievable for students!
5 More Reasons to add Book Clubs to your Secondary ELA Class
1. Provides opportunity for students to take on leadership roles that might not otherwise take the opportunity
We all have those 3 or 4 students that dominate all conversations. With smaller groups for book clubs you are providing more opportunities for other students to develop leadership skill within your class. Students that normally sit and let the talker take over will rise up when given the opportunity.
2. Students take ownership of their learning
The best part, my favorite part, is that through book clubs, students begin to take ownership over their learning. Because they chose their book, planned their schedules and organize their discussion days, they are quick to take ownership of the group and hold each other accountable for the work. I find this to be true the older they are.
3. All types of readers can be successful
Students do not need to be on grade level to be successful with book clubs. Students who need extra help or time to read will be able to seamlessly and successfully engage in book club activities and discussion. This by itself will help all learners achieve.
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4. Easy to adapt
I’ve worked in schools where I was told I had to teach specific books. Don’t let this stop you from trying book clubs. Book clubs can be easily adapted to work even if the entire class is reading the same book.
The key to making this type of book club work is to have a few whole class check ins points but then let the groups make their own choices about how to run their group, their reading schedule and the like. Treat it the same way you would if you had two groups reading the same book. Just because the book is the same, doesn’t mean everything has to be whole group teaching.
5. They are fun!
The first time you hear a student ask to do another round of book clubs your teacher heart will be filled! I encourage you to sit back during a discussion day and just listen to the high academic conversations that are taking place. Yes, book clubs can be a little more work upfront, but the benefits for student learning and growing cannot be overshadowed!
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