Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

What’s Happening This Week

What’s Happening This Week

There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.

More

 

Book Recommendations

Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

 

 

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

 

HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

September 16

Oprah Winfrey launched her book club this week in 1996.

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Oprah Winfrey launched her book club this week in 1996.

Grades 1 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

In September 1996, television personality Oprah Winfrey announced the first selection for her new book club, and her viewers responded by buying millions of copies of Jacquelyn Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean. Credited with starting a resurgence in the popularity of reading and book clubs, Winfrey went on to promote books by contemporary authors such as Toni Morrison, Ernest Gaines, and Barbara Kingsolver, as well as classic authors from Tolstoy to Faulkner.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Book clubs promote the social nature of reading and invite students to enjoy reading for its own sake. Even though individual readers might process text successfully in isolation, having the opportunity to discuss responses, share insights, and learn from the interpretations of other readers can be very valuable. Consider trying one of the activities below to get your own version of a book club started in your classroom.

  • Within a classroom, have students form groups of three to five. Working with your librarian/school media specialist, have each group choose an appropriate book to read and discuss in place of an independent reading assignment.
  • If you're feeling more ambitious, consider collaborating with colleagues on a larger book club model. Take the "One Grade, One Book" approach and have all students in a particular grade level read the same title. Discussion groups from different classes can share their responses at designated times. For middle school and secondary students, consider launching a "One School, One Book" intitiative and unite all the readers in your school around an appropriate title.

See the resources below for tips and suggestions on getting book clubs (large or small) started in your classroom or school.

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Tips on Starting a Book Group

    This site provides questions that can help groups make basic decisions about what their group will do. Edit this site's list of questions to customize it for the specific needs of your students or group.

  • How to Start a Book Club

    Older students can use these guidelines from Oprah’s website to organize their book clubs. The list includes sections on how to host, getting things started, discussion questions, and growing your club.

  • Breakfast Book Club: Feeding Bodies and Minds

    This Education World online article shares experiences from three schools that began book clubs to nurture their students' love of reading. The article includes book recommendations and links to other programs and resources.

  • Starting a Book Club in a Mid-sized Public Library: A Practical Guide

    Although this online article focuses on an adult audience at a library (not students at a school), it provides honest and practical advice for starting a larger-scale book club project.

RELATED RESOURCES

back to top

 

Grades   7 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Accountable Book Clubs: Focused Discussions

Students form literature circles, read Esperanza Rising or Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Muñoz Ryan, use a Critical Thinking Map to discuss social issues, and use a class wiki.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

No Teachers Allowed: Student-Led Book Clubs Using QAR

Students are introduced to the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) strategy through a read-aloud and question sort. Students then use the strategy to develop questions for a peer-led book discussion.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Learning Clubs: Motivating Middle School Readers and Writers

Students participate in learning clubs, select content area topics, and draw on texts—including websites, printed material, video, and music—to investigate their topics, and share their learning using similar media.

 

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Literature Circles with Primary Students Using Self-Selected Reading

Students respond to self-selected books in journals, and talk about their books daily in small groups. The teacher guides students by offering suggestions and writing with them in dialogue journals.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Book Clubs: Reading for Fun

This lesson describes how small groups of students can plan meetings to discuss what they've read in a "just for fun" book club they've organized—and that they control.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Girls Read: Online Literature Circles

In this lesson designed especially for girls, students read a work of realistic fiction and get to know strong female protagonists through online literary circles and writing activities.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Short Story Fair: Responding to Short Stories in Multiple Media and Genres

In this activity, students read short stories and create presentations in multiple media to share in a Short Story Fair. At the fair, students explore and respond to the displays.