Some teachers call them literature circles, some call them book clubs. We choose to say book clubs because it just sounds more fun! No matter what you call them, it is a time set aside for students to gather in groups and discuss a novel that they are reading. Students love it, and it definitely makes them better readers!
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 resource will give you two options for holding book clubs (or as some call them, literature circles) in your classroom.
Option one – Use the forms provided in which students make up their own discussion questions for the meetings. 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.
There are also project ideas for you to assign groups once they finish a novel.This project can be completed during the last book club meeting.
Option two – Teach students the six reading “signposts” based on the book Notice and Note Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. Students will use the six signposts as springboards for their book club meetings.
There are two resources for you to open. In one of them, the signposts are explained and handouts are included for you to teach them to your students. These signposts can not only be used in book clubs or literature circles. They can be used for the rest of the year for any book or story that you read! The six reading signposts really are a “game changer” in the way we teach students to close read!. In this packet, you will also find book club discussion preparation forms and a discussion guide that includes the signposts.
Whether you choose to use the signposts or not for book clubs is up to you. Either way, you can still use the book club project ideas for groups to complete after finishing a novel.