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Create a Book Club

Students will identify books to read, come up with discussion questions and decide how they will formulate groups to create a book club.

PROCESS:

  1. Ask students what type of book they like to read most, fiction or nonfiction. Then invite students to identify their favorite genres, such as mysteries, biographies, romance, or even guides explaining how to fix things.
  2. Discuss reasons why it can be fun or even helpful to discuss what you've read with a friend. For example, you can share the experience and laugh. Or, your friend might be able to help you understand something you missed.
  3. Explain that these are reasons why people form book clubs. But point out that in order for a book club to be successful, it must be organized. Everyone has to read the same book, somebody has to be in charge, and everyone must participate. It helps if members have written discussion questions beforehand to keep the conversation flowing.
  4. In small groups, have students start their own book clubs. Instruct them to decide how they will format and run their groups. Then have them identify the first book they will read and come up with a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Encourage groups to meet regularly over the next few weeks as they make their way through their first books.

ASSESSMENT:

After all groups have finished their first books, rejoin as a class. Encourage students to explain how meeting in informal groups impacted their enjoyment or understanding of the book they read.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, create a basic set of rules for the book clubs to follow. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a book to read based on members' interests and reading abilities. Observe group discussions and offer helpful tips as needed.
Grades 5-6:
As a class, create a basic set of rules for the book clubs to follow. Then divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to select one book that all members want to and can read. Observe group discussions and offer helpful tips as needed.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Challenge members of each group to decide how they will format and run their book clubs. Then have them select a group leader and a book to read. Instruct groups to write a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Make sure each group member has a copy. Instruct them to take notes as they read when they find the answers. Encourage students to use their notes during their first group discussion.
Grades 9-10:
Have the class divide into small groups based on the type of book students prefer reading. Then have each group decide how to format and run its book club. After groups select their first book to read, challenge them to write a list of discussion questions for their first meeting. Make sure each group member has a copy. As they read their selections, instruct students to jot down page numbers for each answer or to identify passages that they found particularly appealing so they can easily find information they want to share with the group later on.