Book Clubs. Just the name generates excitement, doesn't it? This unit contains everything you need to facilitate book clubs in your upper elementary or middle school classroom.
In our classrooms, we foster book clubs once a nine weeks. We allow students to sit in bag chairs (which fit nicely in a big trash can in our classrooms) and eat snacks as they discuss the novel that they are all reading. They LOVE it, and they definitely grow as readers!
This teaching unit is divided into three sections, and each section includes a wealth of resources for holding book clubs. There are 394 pages in this product!
Section one contains book club meeting forms. Two book club preparation sheets are included which your students will use to prepare for the meeting. A book club discussion guide is also included. Groups will use this sheet to guide them through meetings. It gives them step by step instructions on how to hold their book club discussions.
In section two, we have prepared specific handouts for 24 high interest novels. You can definitely add to these by choosing books of your own as well! A list of the 24 novels is at the bottom of this description on our book club list. For each of the 24, this resource includes:
1. Reading assignment schedules specific to the novel
2. Comprehension checks specific to the novel
3. Group activity specific to the novel
4. Final test specific to the novel
First, there are reading assignment schedules. Each book is divided into three sections so that three meetings can be held. These schedules provide the amounts that need to be read per section and leave space for students to fill in the dates for the meetings. Next, there are resources for each meeting. For meetings one and two, a five question comprehension check and a group activity are included. The comprehension check can be used to assess students’ completion and comprehension of the assigned section. You can administer these prior to the book club meetings and determine whether or not to allow students to participate in the meetings. After using the book club discussion guide (which is included in section 1), students will together complete a quick activity based on that section of the novel. Book specific activities are included for all 24 novels! Finally, once the book is finished, there is a final test for each novel. You may choose to allow students to work together in groups to complete the test or allow them to take the test independently for a grade. Answer keys are included!
Section 3 includes project ideas that students can complete together at the last meeting once students have finished reading the novel. There are several projects for you to choose from. The first one included is a big project, and the others included are smaller. It’s up to you to decide which one to assign. You could assign each group the same project or differentiate among the groups.
A TON of work went into this teaching unit, and we are sure that it will save you a TON of time! All of the work has been done for you. This unit contains a wealth of resources, and can be used in different ways. The handouts, quizzes, and tests included could be used for whole-class or independent novel studies as well!
This unit contains book specific quizzes, activities, and tests for the following 24 novels.
For struggling Readers ~ List A
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume *
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Tales of a fourth grade nothing by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Double Dutch by Sharon Draper
Holes by Louis Sachar
Small Steps by Louis Sachar
* Guided Reading Activity included
For middle level (on grade level) Readers ~ List B
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Love, Stargirl (sequel to Stargirl) by Jerry Spinelli
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Rules by Cynthia Lord
For upper level readers ~ List C
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Also included ~Reading Signposts!!
In the book Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, six “signposts of reading” are explained. Let me first say that if you have not yet heard of this book or of the six signposts, you should order it today and have it shipped overnight!
It is a complete “game changer”! The strategies in this book will transform the way you teach reading, and your students will benefit greatly!
The six “signposts” that this book explains are common features that readers can look for in a fictional text. These six signposts can tremendously help students when they are completing a close read of a novel or story. The six reading signposts show up across the majority of books, and the intention of them is to help students analyze and understand the text better and on a deeper level.
While all six signposts can be found in most novels, at least some (if not all) of these features can also be found in short stories. Following are the six signposts:
Contrasts and Contradictions
Words of the Wiser
Again and Again
Each signpost has a definition but also a question to accompany it. When students recognize one, they are to stop reading and ask themselves the question. The more students recognize the signposts, the more they will use the comprehension process: visualizing, predicting, summarizing, clarifying, questioning, inferring, and making predictions.
First, you will need to teach your students the six signposts in reading. Explain that we call these “signposts” because they are places where we are supposed to stop and pay attention and because they are common to most stories. Use the handouts provided in this packet to teach the signposts.
When students are completing their reading assignments for their group meetings, have them looking for the six signposts. Bookmarks are provided in this packet. Students can use these as they read so that they will know what they are looking for and know the questions that go along with each signpost. You can have students complete one of the charts provided in this packet, or simply allow them to use small sticky notes. On the sticky notes, they can use the abbreviations for the signposts and write the question that accompanies the signpost. You can instruct them to answer the question on the note or in their heads.
Prior to meeting, students will complete a book club preparation form included in this packet. It requires them to choose two of the signposts that they discovered while reading to discuss with their group. The questions that accompany each signpost will automatically generate quality discussions within the groups.