10 Tips for Implementing Book Clubs

Do you use book clubs during guided reading or your reading centers? If not, you need to check out THIS post to read about why book clubs are the bomb digity.

Are you ready to implement book clubs? I have ten tips that will transform you into the book club guru! Let's get started...

1. Differentiate
Differentiate your book clubs by choosing different books for each group. The book should be a good fit for the the group's reading level. Even your lowest level of readers can participate in book clubs if you find the right book!

2. Get Books
Make sure that every student has a copy of the book to read from. When you ask students to share a book, it is very easy for students to get distracted. Since every group is doing a different book, you probably only need 5-6 copies of each book. Check your school and public library. I also suggest stalking the Scholastic book club order fliers. If you are 1:1 or have enough technology for one group, you can get the Kindle form of the book and share across multiple devices.

3. Base Clubs on Standards
Be sure to choose the book club books based on the standards you will be teaching. If you will be teaching informational text standards, then you will want all of your book club groups to be reading a nonfiction book. If you are teaching literature standards, then your clubs should be reading a fiction book.

4. Capitalize on Student Interests
Choose books based on student interest! This is the easiest way to get student buy-in and excitement. When students are excited, they will give you more effort. So if you have a group that loves baseball, maybe they need to read a book about Babe Ruth.

5. Introduce New Books
Use book clubs to introduce books by different authors or from a different series than books that have been read already. This is your chance to expand your students' reading interests. Don't give them an I Survived book if you notice they already read them a lot independently. Also, if you read a book as a full class read aloud, try not to do the next book in the series in book clubs. You already got them excited about that series! Let them read it independently and use book club as another opportunity to expose them to good authors.

6. Read More Than You Talk
Make sure that you and your students are using the majority of the book club time to read. I kinda seriously love to talk. It is easy for me to get preaching and reading time to get sucked down the drain. I am not saying that you shouldn't discuss the book, but keep the chat short and focused so that lots of reading is happening. We usually read for 2/3 of the time and write for the other 1/3. Sometimes we skip the writing and just read the entire time!

7. Read Together
Choral read during book clubs. Having students choral read will increase focus and engagement. Reading together helps students to have a shared reading experience and makes it seem less like work. When you popcorn read, you will have lots of kids who will get nervous to read and distracted when others read. When you have students read the book club book silently, they are able to skip all of the words they don't know and every kids reads at a different speed. This makes the planning difficult. 

8. Ditch the Traditional Book Club Jobs
Asign the same task to every student in the book club group to ensure that each student is practicing the current teaching point. Rather than assigning one student to write the summary, assign the whole group to write a summary. When you are working on context clues, have all of the group member find words and use clues to determine the definition. When all students are practicing the current standard, it makes book club time more valuable.

9. Meet Regularly
Have book clubs meet regularly so that students can get invested in the story and finish it in a reasonable amount of time. I meet with my book clubs as our meet the teacher guided reading group. I meet with each group for 30 minutes every other day. You can read more about my schedule HERE.

10. Get Raffling 
Keep students pumped to read by raffling off the rights to read the next book in the series. If you just read The Lemonade War in book club, raffle off the right to read The Lemonade Crime.

It feels good to have students begging to read a book! You can read more about book raffles HERE.

Now that you are a book. club expert, you are ready to lead the troops! 

If you need some book club graphic organizers, I highly recommend these ones because they cover so many standards and reading skills!

Happy clubbing!