Yesterday’s sixth and seventh-grade book club was fantastic! When I got to school, the seventh graders were already out of class. Several helped me carry next month’s book into the library, jabbering about The Bronze Bow all the way.
I left them to make copies of a map of ancient Israel (where this story takes place), and by the time I’d made it back to the library, sixth grade was there, too. The discussion had already started without me.
To help focus the conversation, we passed a tissue box to the person who wanted to speak. No one else was to comment if they didn’t have the box. This works relatively well. It was fun to hear my students begging to hold a box of Kleenex or scolding each other about talking out of turn.
Several girls swooned over the hint of romance in the story. Others wanted to share moments that made them cry. Quite a few kids had a hard time with the beginning, which took its time getting into the story. We talked about the difference between books written forty plus years ago and the ones written today, where the action is up front.
The boys wanted to talk about the battle scenes and the choices they would have made to participate or not. We were all surprised the transformation in Daniel, the protagonist, didn’t happen until the last two pages.
I’m so proud these kids are picking up books they might not on their own and are looking for things to say. Next month is Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi.
Kristi Faith says
Great job and you should be proud of them, and yourself. Without an incredible person to share their love and knowledge, these kids may never have experienced such conversations and lessons in life. You’re doing more than teaching them to read. 🙂 You’re teaching them to think differently, expand on what they know and feel-these kids will grow to be better teens and adults for it. Thank you for what you do!
Books bring such an amazing journey. I am glad to hear the children reading and enjoying the power of story.
Thanks to teacher like you who make reading fun! I’m using the kleenex strategy with my family- everyone talks to me at once!
Amalia T. says
That’s fabulous!! The only time I was even involved in something that started without the “teacher” was a course in college, when, learning our professor was ill, we stayed to discuss our project and then actually agreed as a class to assign ourselves homework. Which everyone turned in the following week on time.
Sounds like an incredible success story!
Caroline Starr Rose says
Amalia, Tamika, Kristi,
Thanks for your kind words! I am so proud of these kids and feel privleged to continue teaching them in this non-traditional format.
That sounds wonderful. I love book groups! I’m so excited to do them with my kids when they get a little older.
Wow, kudos to you for fostering a love of reading in these kids. Great, great job!