Yesterday, I introduced book clubs by issuing students their books with their reading tickets/schedules (see previous blog post, please). Students also got new seating/table assignments when they arrived; I projected these onto the board as students arrived. Students are either seating with their entire book club OR in a “subgroup” of a larger book club since some groups are reading different texts around a similar theme or genre (memoir, specifically).
Once we reviewed our reading schedule/assignment for the first week, we did a quick mini-lesson on themes, central ideas, and issues and how we might begin to notice these elements of our literary nonfiction/memoir books. I used one of my favorite texts, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen, to model my thinking. My mini-lesson and subsequent activity are modifications of a mini-lesson from the Lucy Calkins Literary Nonfiction Unit of Study in reading.
Students then broke into small groups by book club/same books or partners for subgroups of book clubs for the read aloud portion of our activity. I have blogged earlier this academic year about the power of partner read alouds, and yesterday only reinforced my belief in their value. Most classes were able to get about 15-20 minutes of reading time in. Students then jotted down any initial noticings about theme, central ideas, or issues they noticed in the day’s reading. Students will be adding to this graphic organizer as we get deeper into our books.
Yesterday was hectic, so I apologize I don’t have video for you to see/hear the partner or small group read alouds, but you can see/hear this awesome energy in my previous posts on read alouds.