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Lesson Plan

Book Clubs: Reading for Fun

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Book Clubs: Reading for Fun

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: 50 minutes; thereafter: 10 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Three fourth-grade girls—Angela, Janie, and Su Ling, of varying reading abilities—had decided to read Lois Lowry's Number the Stars together. They met every other day to discuss what they'd read and to decide how much to read next. Their predictions of what would happen next came naturally in the discussion, and the group worked to sustain the mighty efforts of Angela, who had to work hard to keep pace with the others.

This "just for fun" book club was a student-organized, student-driven reading experience that built community in the classroom and encouraged students to read independently, taking responsibility for their literacy learning. This lesson describes how students can form their own book clubs, set ground rules that support community, and support one another’s reading efforts.

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FEATURED RESOURCES

Graphic Map: Using the Graphic Map online tool, students can chart the high and low points related to a particular item or group of items, such as events during a day, chapters in a book, or events in a story.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

In discussing the need for book clubs, Raphael et al. state: "To learn to read well, all students need to read thought-provoking, age-appropriate books. They also need to respond thoughtfully to these books in talk, writing, and as they read other texts." (159) Book clubs are opportunities for students to choose what they read, when they read, where they read, how they read, and with whom they read. The key concept here is choice. In order to carry out book clubs successfully, students must work together to negotiate places and times to meet, along with the pacing and discussion of the books. They take on responsibility for their own literacy learning. They learn to value one another as readers and learners.

Further Reading

This lesson is based on Deb Foertsch's Large-Group Instruction, as described in Sierra-Perry, Martha. 1996. Standards in Practice: Grades 3-5. Urbana: NCTE. pp. 2-25.

Read more about this resource

 

Raphael, Taffy E., Susan Florio-Ruane, and MariAnne George. "Book Club Plus: A Conceptual Framework to Organize Literacy Instruction." Language Arts 79.2 (November 2001): 159-168.

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