Real readers devour books, talk about them and then do something when great books change them. Student book clubs based on these truths have proven extremely successful.
From a teacher's standpoint, I am thrilled! Students are ready to begin again and asking about when we can start our next book clubs. ASAP, of course! The only problem is that they take at least a week or two to set up. We need to select books, source them, introduce the choices, have students choose, group students and hand out books. These are not difficult tasks at all but in the short delay between book clubs, I am sad to see students not reading in class with the same motivation. You would think that going back to a "Read to Self" sort of free book choice for a short bit would be exciting to them but it turns out that without the social aspect of looking forward to talking about their reading, they seem to not really read.
My Experimental Solution: "Any Book" Clubs
Simply, they are clubs that will leverage the success of our recent book club structure without requiring that students read the same book. I have heard of adult book clubs like this and thought it might work with students too.
Students will read any book they like, bring that book to a meeting, share a selected piece of text from their book and have others discuss that text. I am hoping that students will inspire each other to read a wider range of genres and start talking about different kinds of books more. The social aspect aims to keep students accountable to their peers with regular club meetings, while allowing them some fun talk time that will offer new perspectives from new people about their favorite literature.
Looking for Your Help
I was thinking of starting off with groups of four students. Aiming to have two girls and two boys in each group, I would be sensitive to place less capable readers with sensitive, supportive peers. Since groups will meet 2-3 times a week, I was thinking that they could stay with these peers for a week or two before switching.
Any recommendations? What do you think? Please comment!