As adults, we love our book clubs. Book clubs can be a powerful way to help us feel connected and to develop an even deeper love of reading.
Book clubs are great for kids too! They can be especially helpful when students are on an extended break from school. As educators and parents, we can help our students start virtual book clubs of their own.
This could be part of their regular reading workshop — or not. Virtual book clubs could also be an activity they participate in with friends or family outside the classroom. Most importantly, we want whatever we do to focus on building connections and the joy of reading.
Here are some simple steps to help kids get started:
- Choose the book club members.
Have kids decide who they want inside their book club. Will they choose friends from class, the neighborhood, or family members?
- Decide what to read.
One option is for everyone to read the same book. If physical copies aren’t available, see what digital options are available through options like Raz-Kids, Libby, Newsela, Epic, Audible, or Hoopla, to name a few. While reading the same book is great, it’s not necessary. You could also decide to do a book club centered around the same topic. The club can decide what topic everyone is interested in studying and then find texts around that topic. When they get together they’ll have so much learning to share!Another option could be reading books in the same series or author. Book club members might read different volumes of the same series, such as The Magic Treehouse or Percy Jackson. Or each person could choose a title from a favorite author like Jacqueline Woodson or Mo Willems.
- Decide on the meeting format.
Will the club meet live on a video call (Facetime, Zoom, Google Hangout) or will they post responses in an online forum (Padlet, Flipgrid) that members can read and respond to later?
- Make a plan.
Put the meeting dates on a calendar and make sure everyone knows how much to read beforehand. They probably won’t want to meet more than two times a week. Everyone needs enough time to read and think before having a great conversation.
Now that you’ve helped your kids set up a book club, what do they talk about?
One thing kids can talk about is whether or not they liked the book and why. If you need a few easy conversation ideas, here are some potential topics to have them discuss:
- The characters, setting, lessons, or themes
- Any special traits or character relationships
- Something new they learned
- Compare and contrast
- Debate an issue
- Discuss the author’s perspective
Whatever you do, remember what’s important is that you make it an experience that’s joyful and helps kids and families connect.
We can’t wait to hear about the book clubs you’re doing with your students or even your families!
If you enjoyed this article, you might like these ones too: