Book clubs in the classroom can be a powerful reading comprehension tool and experience for young children. Implementing book clubs in an upper elementary classroom gives students an opportunity to read a book they are interested in, discuss the book, and complete comprehension activities as they go! My kids LOVE book clubs because they get to read with their friends and discuss what they read!
Why do book clubs?
Holding book clubs in the classroom is an essential part of upper elementary because it allows students to read books that interest them with their peers. Doing this helps students find a love for reading and introduces them to new books that they may not have read before.
Hosting book clubs in the classroom also allows students to work on their reading comprehension and fluency skills while really engaging with the material.
The best part? Having book clubs in your classroom is little to no prep for the teacher and once you teach your kiddos how to do it, it basically runs by itself! WIN WIN!
When do you do book clubs?
When I am in a book club rotation in my classroom I either replace my typical guided reading or silent reading time with a book club.
If I am replacing my guided reading time, I am meeting with each book club group every few meetings and chatting with them just like I would with guided reading.
Before Getting Started
Before starting book clubs in the classroom, you need to make sure that you explicitly teach what you want your students to do when they meet with their peers.
So, what I do is go through each book club role and teach them how to do it!
To do this, I read a picture book to the class and then we go through and do an example of what I would do with each book club role. I show them what I would do on the recording sheet after I am done reading and I also show them what the discussion would look like when they are discussing!
How to Implement Book Clubs
After you show students how to implement book clubs on their own you give each group the book they will be working on. Typically, I will plan out about 10 meetings. All I do to plan is separate the book into 10 reading sessions (I pick out which chapters or pages they read each time).
- Each student will pick one book club assignment. They work with their group to make sure that no one is doing the same assignment.
- Then, they read their first book club assignment and do the recording sheet to go with what they have read.
- The following day the students will meet to discuss what they read. They each go around the circle discussing their role that day (The book club sheets have very explicit instructions on what to talk about for their role).
- When the discussion is complete, the students will pick a new role for the next assignment and begin working on their next assignment.
- Repeat the above steps.
When doing book clubs in the classroom they will continue to repeat the steps above until the book is complete. By the end of the book club, every student will have read the entire book and completed each assignment in their book club packet.
Typically at the end of the book club, I have students complete a book project to go with it! (Find the book projects I use here).
What are the roles that each student completes?
- Word Detective- these students are finding words and defining them
- Artsy Artist- they are illustrating what they read
- Super Summarizer- they are summarizing the part that they read
- Connector- they are doing text connections
- Passage Wizard- they pick their favorite passage
- Character Captain- they are looking at the characters in the book
- Question Creator- this student is creating questions for the students in the group to answer
- Reporter- this student takes notes and reports back to me
- Discussion Director- this person leads the group
Make book clubs in the classroom easy!
Grab all the book club roles with explicit instructions for the tasks and the discussions here!