Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: 5 Reasons to Use Book Clubs During Reading Groups

5 Reasons to Use Book Clubs During Reading Groups

Book clubs are a great way to teach the standards while helping students to develop a love for reading!

Book clubs are the bees knees! No really! My students loved book clubs and were excited to read. That is a major teacher win! (I never had a kid get excited to get out their reading text book.)

I use book clubs during my guided reading groups. My students are ability grouped and come to meet with me for 30 minutes every other day. (You can read more about my reading centers by clicking HERE.) When they come to meet with me, we choral read from their book club book. We generally read for about 20 minutes and write for the last 10 minutes. 

Let me tell you all of the reasons that book clubs rock!

1. Easy to Practice and Spiral Standards
What standard or skill are you focusing on this week in reading? Instead of printing worksheets and passages just for that skill, you can use the book club text to practice. If you are working on summarizing, have students summarize the chapter. If you are working on main idea, have students find the main idea and supporting details of a chapter. When we are working on literature standards, we will read fiction books in clubs. When we are working on informational standards, the book clubs will read expository books. You are not having to come up with all new activities for every standard. 

Book clubs are a great way to teach the standards while helping students to develop a love for reading!


2. Increased Student Interest
Students are almost always more engaged and interested in chapter books than they are interested in stories from the basal. You are able to pick books that you think will be interesting to a particular group of readers. The book club is customized to their interests rather than everyone reading the same stories. If I have a group of students who are really interested in mysteries, they can read a mystery for their book club. Another group might prefer something comical. 

3. Introducing New Authors and Series
My biggest goal as a reading teacher is to have my students love to read. I do not believe that third graders do not like to read. Some of them just haven't found the book that they love to read. #challengeaccepted During book clubs I can introduce students to authors, series and genres that they may not be familiar with. Now students will be more willing to try new books on their own! They are one step closer to finding the books that they love.

4. Easy to Differentiate
We all have diverse reading levels in our classes. I used to think that I needed to plan completely different lessons for my leveled readers. #iwaswrong Everyone can do book clubs! I just choose books that are ideal for the group's reading level. Now all four of my groups are doing the same activity, but it is differentiated to their level. My lower level students are so happy to be doing the same book clubs with everyone else!

Book clubs are a great way to teach the standards while helping students to develop a love for reading!

5. Simple Planning and Prep
Book clubs take me almost no time to plan and prep! That is a huge bonus! At the beginning of the quarter, I chose a book for each reading group. (You can learn more about how I pick books by clicking HERE.) Then I make a list of the standards or skills that I need to teach and/or practice during the quarter. I print book club graphic organizers for those skills. I make copies for each group and put them in tubs near my reading table. Done. I am prepped for an entire quarter of reading groups!

Book clubs are a great way to teach the standards while helping students to develop a love for reading!


Are you convinced that book clubs will rock your world? I knew you would be. You probably have some questions though. And I have good news...I wrote a post with tips to get those book clubs up and running in your classroom!


Click on the picture below to get started!



Have a Not So Wimpy Day!