Thursday, September 27, 2007

Same Bookclub, New Participants

And new book. This year I'm branching out and picking a wide variety of different types of books for my 1st-3rd grade book club. The first book of the year was The Frog Prince, Continued by Jon Scieszka. There were twelve girls in attendance. (What happened to all my regular boys?)

We followed the same basic format I always use : icebreaker, discussion, activity/game, snack, pictionary

Only, we didn't actually get to the activity because they had so much they wanted to share about the book. It was amazing. Before I got the chance one of the kids asked, "what if they wrote a third book?" So we talked about that for awhile and the other fairy tales we'd like to see continued. Then we spent some time talking about Jon Scieszka and looking at some of his other books. (I got to recount the time I went to a luncheon at which he spoke.)

A simple form of pictionary has become my standard closing activity. I make them pick words having to do with the book for their first round and the second round they get to do whatever they want. This freedom of choice never fails to elicit cheers.

The kids never want to leave. I've had the program run for an hour and a half before and yet they always clamour for more. Yesterday I heard, "It felt like a party," and "It felt like we were only here for 5 minutes."

So, I've succeeded in getting the kids to read a book, come to the library and have a great time. But I struggle with the question of how to foster better discussions, and how much I should even worry about that. My main goal is not education, it's not even to get them thinking more about the books. My main goal is to provide a different kind of book discussion experience than they get at school, introducing them to different books along the way.

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