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Diverse Reads, Shared Insights: Running Book Clubs with Multiple Books

Are you looking for a fresh way to grow your student's love for reading while embracing diversity in your classroom? You're in for a treat because today, we're exploring how to run a Book Club with multiple books. It's like orchestrating a literary symphony where each book plays its own melody. Yet, together, they create a harmonious blend of perspectives, stories, and insights.

Select Your Books

To get started, select a range of books that cater to different interests, reading levels, and cultural backgrounds within your classroom. Check out resources like Scholastic's The Teacher Store to boost your classroom library. 

From picture books to graphic novels, non-fiction to poetry, there's a book out there for everyone. Try some of these kid-favorite series:

Introduce What a Book Club Is

Once you've curated your book collection, it's time to introduce the concept of a Book Club to your students. Emphasize that Book Clubs are more than just reading assignments. They're a chance to explore literature, share perspectives, and build a community within the classroom.

The Purpose of Reading Journals

Provide each student with a reading journal. Allow your students to personalize their journals with book stickers, characters, and, of course, their names.

During Book Club meetings, have your students keep track of their thoughts, questions, and insights in their reading journals. Their final assignment should be to write a book review. 

Reading your student's reading journals will help you assess their comprehension and critical thinking skills when it's time to grade.

Host a Book-Tasting Event

Consider hosting a book-tasting event to kick off the Book Club experience: 

  1. Set up stations around the classroom, each featuring a different book from your Book Club selection.

  2. Before starting, teach your students how to sample a book. Look at the title, front and back cover, illustrations, etc. Then, read a few pages of the book.

  3. Teach your students how to use their reading journals to keep their notes, questions, and eventual book reviews.

  4. Allow students to sample each book for at least five minutes, encouraging them to write down their thoughts before rotating to the next station. 

Book Selection

After your classroom book tasting, have students choose the book that interested them the most. It is okay if multiple students choose the same book. That is where the Book Club comes into play!

Facilitate Book Club Discussions

Now comes the fun part: diving into the books. 

  1. Set a schedule for regular Book Club meetings where groups can read and discuss their books. Determining your Book Club schedule will depend on your student's age, reading ability, support needed, etc. 

  2. Help your students to pose thought-provoking questions. Consider incorporating hands-on activities related to the themes and characters in the books.

    1. For example, organize a nature walk or a recycling project if one of the books explores environmental conservation. If another book delves into the history of a specific culture, plan a cultural exchange day where students can share stories and traditions from their own backgrounds.

Provide Guidance and Support

During Book Club, provide guidance and support while allowing students to drive the discussions forward. Offer open-ended questions to get the discussion started:

  • If you were that character, what would you have done differently in that situation?

  • If the book was a TV show, which actors would you cast?

  • Have you learned any new words or facts so far?

  • Who was your favorite character? Why?

  • Did the problem of the book's plot get solved?

In your Book Club, foster a safe environment where all voices are heard and respected, regardless of differing opinions of the text. If disagreements occur, allow both sides a chance to explain their ideas.

Book Party

At the end of your Book Club, celebrate the journey of exploration and discovery with a book party.

  1. Students can showcase their favorite book character by dressing up as that character.

  2. Watch the TV episode or movie based on the book.

  3. Throw a themed literary soirée with book-themed snacks, games, and activities.

Create Lifelong Readers

With a diverse selection of books, a dash of creativity, and a sprinkle of enthusiasm, you'll orchestrate unforgettable Book Club experiences that ignite a lifelong passion for reading. Let the pages turn, and the conversations flow!

Written by Brooke Lektorich
Education World Contributor
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