Saturday, January 16, 2016

Book Club Basics

I wanted to do a quick blog post about some book club basics. I'm a huge supporter of using book clubs as a way to foster a love of reading and build a community of readers in your classroom. If you're thinking of launching book clubs in your classroom here are few things to consider before getting started!

First, you need to make sure your students have access to books! When I was first starting out with book clubs, I used my local library as well as my school library to help put books in my students' hands. This can take a few weeks at times so give yourself plenty of time.  As my book clubs have grown, my own collection has grown as well. Scholastic bonus points, half price books, library sales, etc. have really helped grow my book collection. Currently, I have at least 4-5 copies of every book I feature in one of my book clubs. We also always offer the option for students to download or purchase their own copies.

Here's a few of my book club sets:
Don't forget your lower readers, too! Having a variety of books and reading levels is something you need to look at before starting book clubs. Book club needs may change year to year so having some back up books {for your highest and lowest readers} is always important!

Next, you need to decide how you're going to launch your book clubs. How will you get your kids excited? My favorite way to launch book clubs is to show a short preview video or book talk about each novel we're featuring. This gets our students SUPER pumped for book clubs. It also helps students decide if a book is a "good fit" for their reading tastes.

Savvy is one of my favorites from my fantasy book club!

Absolutely, Almost is a perfect for any character unit of study!

Once you have your books, you need to decide what book clubs will look like in your classroom. They should help facilitate what you're already teaching in the classroom.

In my classroom, my students know that our reading block will be a teaching point, read aloud, group practice, and then independent practice and reading. Some days, we have to read and model and then students will get time to read and practice the following day. It just depends on the length of the lesson and read aloud.

We use our Reader's Notebooks for modeling and practice. We also use them to jot down information about our book club novels!

Why do adults join book clubs? Because they are FUN! My students do not meet daily in book clubs because that's not how real book clubs work. They can always get help or ask fellow students questions but we only meet in book clubs on Friday. On Fridays, we choose a fun activity that relates to our weekly lessons for students to complete in small book club groups of 3-4 students.

Our students LOVE book club Fridays! It's great because they can also work with other students on our team that have the same reading block - we work it so it's not just homeroom based!
We made Facebook pages for our main characters during our character book clubs. This is Roy from Hoot's "Fakebook" page.

This Friday, we made theme posters as part of our interpretation book clubs. You can see more examples of these posters and the requirements we set {here}.

Planning fun Friday activities keeps kids engaged and helps focus their discussions. This really helps keeps book club excitement going. As kids read several books, they also get to choose which book club join . This offers additional choice for kids and promotes further reading.

How do you build a reading community in your classroom?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. You have very nice collection of books and i appreciate it and i want you to give me precious information by reading that books for essay help. We can see you are very interested in book reading and i suggest to everyone to make it their hobby for successful and beautiful life.

  4. I found your blog through Nerdy Book Club and immediately searched for book club insights because I just don't like how mine have been going! I'm in 5th as well. I absolutely love the idea of doing fun response activities on Friday. It is MUCH BETTER than what I'm attempting're right - most 10 and 11 year olds just can't have deep discussions about their books for 30 minutes!

    Do you have work that the students complete during the week - responses, etc? Do you do assigned "roles" in your book clubs?

    Thank you!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I've been perusing your other posts and found your accountability piece, as well as your TPT product, but I have another question. You mentioned in a post that students read book club books at their own pace - how do you manage this? This has always been my biggest problem. If they're reading at different paces, isn't it harder for them to complete activities together? I've always liked the idea of NOT assigning pages or chapters each week, but have never been able to wrap my head around how to manage that effectively.

    Thanks again! :)

  7. I deleted my first post - oops. I did want to say that I found your blog through Nerdy Book Club today and I love all your detailed book club information! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Carly! I tried to email you and I'm not sure it's going through! I think you may have your settings set to "nonreply" blogger. Email me at or change your settings so I can follow up with you! Thanks for reading!

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