On 12/30/08, 1st Book Club in School wrote:
> Hi All-I am starting the first book club in my middle
> school (we don't have club time-it is an after school
> I have done some research about book clubs, but most info
> is geared toward adults. I am in touch with our city
> library and they have offered some help (ex. book club sets
> for lending, but quantities are small).
> We want to read the same book (so far there are 30
> members-first meeting is next month) so everyone will have
> to buy or borrow a copy. I realize that is a deterrent-we
> are working on 'book scholarships' and hope that as we move
> forward we will figure out how to resolve this issue or
> alter our plan. We will break out into smaller groups. We
> also want to have activities other than book discussion
> (creative writing/art related to the current book,
> published on paper or electronically, social events for the
> whole school).
> For middle schoolers, how many pages a week seem
> reasonable, considering regular school assignments?
This depends on the difficulty of the book and the ability
level of the students. On the first meeting, have the
students read for 15 minutes and then record how many pages
they read. Use that information to come up with a guideline--
based on chapters in the book. Considering their school
assignments, this could double up; when I taught middle
school reading, the only homework I gave was to read 1/2 hour
a night and keep a log. Check with your reading teachers; if
they follow the same procedure, the book club reading could
double as their homework.
> I was thinking of meeting 2x's a month for an hour-too
> much, too little?
Figure 20-30 minutes for discussion about the book and the
rest of the time for arts/crafts type projects and that
sounds about right. Does your school have any restrictions
about meeting times? The middle school I worked at required
any afterschool meetings/practices to run until the activity
bus arrived at 5:45; i.e. an hour and 45 minutes.
> If we do book-related events, how much time should we
> expect to focus on each book?
Again that relates to the difficulty of the book and the
issues/themes it covers and the abilities of your students.
> Any related book club ideas/activities?
> Personal experience-success and failures?
> Thanks for any input. I am not locked into any goals yet,
> and want to let the kids drive the club.
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