Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Book Club


 

Summer Book Club

 This summer I decided to lead a summer book club for kids Jonah's age.  It was a good way to keep Jonah reading over the summer and to engage a small group of kids from his school who live in our neighborhood.  I sent out a group email to see if there was interest from other kids, and when there were many interested families, we chose a book and dove right in!

 
We picked a book from the Calendar Mysteries, May Magic, by Ron Roy.  Roy writes three chapter book series for kids: The A-Z Mysteries, Calendar Mysteries, and The Capital Mysteries.  I bought the books through a Scholastic book order Jonah's teacher sent home near the end of the school year. They were $3 a book which I thought was pretty affordable.

Our group ended up consisting of Jonah, Connor, and Olivia.  I read the book prior to meeting with the kids and it was a really entertaining book.  In fact, when it was all said and done, Olivia ended up reading it twice!  I love to see kids really get into a series.  After our last book club meeting, Olivia and Connor borrowed two other Calendar Mystery books from Jonah.  It's neat to see them borrowing and trading books, like mini versions of us moms passing favorites around the neighborhood.


On our first meeting, I passed out the books and a journal and bookmark.  The journal is filled with pages about making predictions, recording character information, and story mapping.  The bookmark has places for the kids to write questions that may arise as they read, and to record words they are not sure of the meaning of so they can look them up later.  Before we started reading, we read the summary on the back of the book and each recorded a prediction of what we thought would happen on the first page of our journals.  We read a few chapters together, and talked about the characters as we were introduced to them.  We made a chart on an easel to keep the characters and their specific traits and qualities organized.  Then I assigned the kids a few chapters to read.  I asked them to record one event from each chapter they read on a sticky note.  Then we set up our next meeting. 



We met three times, each time working on character traits and story elements.  On our last meeting we celebrated finishing our book with cookies!  Since the problem in the story revolves around the kids' mom being supposedly turned into a duck by Hypo, the hypnotist, we used cookie cutters to make duck-shaped cookies, and topped them with sprinkles.  While our cookies baked, we summarized the book and completed a story map in our journals. 

We had so much fun, the kids decided they would like to do the book club again.  We are taking a break for now, but will do another one in August, just before school starts, to brush up on our reading and comprehension skills.  It makes me so happy to see kids get excited about reading.  I'm glad they got a lot out of the book club, but what they don't know is that I am really the one who got the most out of it. :)  This is why I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was eight years old.  Thanks, crew!

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