This unit works well for any teacher seeking to increase student choice in the classroom and foster an environment of authentic reading and critical thought in small groups. I typically do this lesson toward the end of the year after a few book club units so that students are already familiar with the concept. The basic concept of this unit is for students to choose individual books. I typically group the students according similarities in the texts they have chosen, but I'm finding this step isn't necessarily all that important the more I teach the unit. In my experience, the most important step is to teach students to translate book based questions to real world questions to truly ensure successful discussion. Once the students pick up on the nuances of extracting topics from a question and creating an analytical or evaluative question about how that topic shows up in the world we live in, the groups tend to truly realize their full potential as high quality student managed discussions. I have a guided lesson for this in my store, and there are examples included in the packet. Included in this packet are all the jobs, descriptive peer feedback sheets and a guide for writing discussion questions each week. This unit also includes some references to basic media literacy concepts which can be pre taught in advance for better student understanding.
Thematic book clubs
by Jon Cowan
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License