As a child (and even now), reading was so therapeutic and necessary for me. When I read, I was able to fall into this new world. I absolutely immersed myself in it, and I would even make up my own extension activities without really knowing that’s what I was doing. I remember building dioramas and cities from blocks just because I could.
However, as I grew older, I realized reading in an education setting became very routine. Honestly, I felt my love of reading being slowly stifled. I knew there had to be a different way to go about this. Over the last few years, I had so many parents and students request a book club class, and this is my idea: BookTalks!
Our virtual book club is not like most. While this is a drop-in club that meets once per month, there is a spin: we don’t designate what book students will read! Each student chooses their own book to read, and then join their peers in sharing what each participant has read over the last month. The outline includes basic comprehension questions applicable to any novel and an opportunity for students to create hand-drawn art, online comic strip, and other methods to include images from the book. I am really excited because students can read books they truly enjoy and share these books with the group, which means we will have a number of unique novels to discuss. Students can read the book reviews written by their classmates, too, and choose to read one of these books and present their own opinions the following month if they’d like.
Overall, I believe in my book-loving heart that Booktalks help kids love to read when they are challenged to explore something they’re passionate about and then given the opportunity to share with peers. I will be doing a FREE BookTalk 101 Intro before our first actual BookTalk. Tell me: do your kids enjoy reading? Do you think a modern take on the book club, like this, is beneficial?