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  • Writer's pictureBethPollak

Book Clubs that are student driven.  

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

Teachers often provide lists of questions and activities for student book clubs. However, prescribed activities can kill the energy students feel around characters and stories.

To give students more ownership of book club work, I integrated strategies suggested by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP).

This result was greater investment in reading and notes, meaningful student discussions, and increased text comprehension.

Some strategies included:

1) Choice in responses: Students could choose how to reflect on their reading. They documented ideas through writing, illustration and charts/diagrams. This allowed them to construct meaning and present their thinking to classmates.

2) Sharing creative notes: Book club discussion meant presenting notes to classmates and asking questions about each other's work. It became a venue for sharing and questioning ideas, rather than trying to come up with the "right answer."

3) Make thinking visual: Students used literary "boards" to share their thinking about key literary ideas. They discussed and documented perspectives on concepts like metaphors, symbolism and theme in their books.

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