Book Clubs are Powerful

Book Clubs are a wonderful! Today my students chanted their favourite authors name like they were cheerleading squad. I have been working on a Newbery Book Club with Gr. 4 and Gr. 5 students. My students are a mixture from a variety of classes and are the strong readers. The students really enjoyed working with kids they don't normally get to work with and they really pushed each other in their thinking.

Seeing them only once a week was a bit challenging at first, I was accustom to more of a guided reading format where I saw them a couple times a week. However, we soon settled into a routine. They finished an award winning novel every week, they found it to hard to stop part way through, but it worked since our discussions drew upon a wider variety of books. My enthusiastic readers consumed quality and award winning literature!

My goal was to have them read more deeply and focus on analysis and evaluation. We looked at different themes in books, created video reviews and then compared and contrasted book themes. We had character battles which involved not only identify characters traits and finding evidence but also you had to listen to other person, analysis their view point and try to turn it to your own advantage. And the reason my students were chanting, we all went to the shelves and picked 3 of our favourite books we thought should've won awards and we all chose a Rick Riordan. They really were too cute!

Using a variety of resources is also powerful, you can utilize online newspapers, encyclopedia articles, websites, eBooks and much much more. Sometimes, it's good to try something other than the novel or class set. Give it a go!

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