Archive for the ‘Book Clubs’ Category

Tips for Starting a Father/Son Book Club

October 19, 2010

The media has a lot to say about boys and reading.  I will speak to recent media coverage over the next month.  However, having been a teacher of fourth and fifth grade boys and now a mother of a second grade boy, I am always looking for ways to engage boys in reading.  So this month on Literacy Toolbox, I hope to focus on boys and reading.

Did you know that boys need male role models in reading?  Fathers have a great influence over their child’s education and how well they perform.  If a male role model values reading, boys will learn to value reading as well.  With this in mind, consider starting a Father/Son Book Club.  Consider it the new age “boys club.” 

Here is how to get started:

  • Gather your son and several of his friends (no more than 5 boys total) and their fathers.
  • Determine a meeting place and time (monthly seems to work well).  Rotate from host to host.
  • The host and his son choose the text for the month they host.
  • Provide snacks!
  • Provide a guideline for discussion.  Or if you prefer, keep it casual, but the host should be able to move the discussion along.
  • Boys and their fathers should read the text together ahead of the meeting.  Or, if the reading for the month is short, consider setting aside time at the meeting for fathers and sons to read together.

Boys typically tend to enjoy short articles and graphic based texts.  Often times, they also prefer “real-world” information vs. fiction or story type novels.

Text Ideas:

  • Graphic Novels
  • Magazine articles (Boys Life, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Kids Discover, National Geographic for Kids, Ranger Rick)
  • Articles of interest from the Internet
  • Newspaper articles (or online news sources)

Boys are normally very active!  Tap into that natural curiosity and exuberance in your book clubs. Provide activities that require thinking and movement in relation to the text you read.

Activity Ideas:

  • Read about the history of a favorite sport and then play that sport.  As you play the sport, discuss the reading.  Tie discussion into the rules of the game (i.e. for every goal made in soccer or every basket made in basketball, a discussion point is made)
  • Choose a specific topic (i.e the history of tools).  Take the opportunity to teach the boys about the topic, through discussion and hands-on activities (i.e. the proper way to use tools).
  • Read a newspaper article (or online news) with the boys.  Discuss current events.  Determine ways the boys could get involved in a community or civic event.
  • Read graphic novels or comic books.  Then have the boys create their own.

At the end of the day, a Father/Son Book Club provides an opportunity for fathers and sons to spend quality time together while reading.  Consider keeping a father/son book journal.  Write about favorite books you’ve read together and the activities that you did with it.  Years from now, you’ll have a lasting memory of a childhood spent together and the enjoyment both father and son felt!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Parent Reading Resources: Summer Reading Programs

June 22, 2010

Parents often ask what they can do to help minimize the “summer slide,” the effect of a lack of formal schooling in the summer, when students and parents tend to be more lax and children begin to lose what they learned the previous school year, that inevitably sets in every year.

The best answer to this is to encourage your children to read every day.  Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes each day for reading time.  If your children are not reading on their own yet, read to them.  If your children are of reading age, provide choices for them and encourage them to read on their own.

There are several reading programs offered this summer that may help entice children to read:

Borders and Barnes and Noble both offer a reading incentive that provides a free book at the end. Borders program is called “Double Dog Dare” and they are asking kids 12 and under to read 10 books by August 26th.  Bring in the completed book list form to any Borders and receive a free book!  Download a copy of the form from the link above.

Barnes and Noble’s program is based on The 39 Clues series of books.  Children in grades 1-6 are encouraged to read 8 books this summer and list them on their Passport to Summer Reading (download it from the link above).    Children have until September 7 to complete their passport and return it to any Barnes and Noble to receive their free book.  Parents can also download fun activities for children at the Barnes and Noble link above.

Scholastic is also offering a summer reading challenge.  Children are asked to read books and log the number of minutes they read.  When kids log their reading minutes, they help their schools as they participate in the Read for the World Record Challenge! The Top 20 schools with the most reading minutes will appear in the “Scholastic Book of World Records” 2011 edition.  Children ages 7 and up are encouraged to participate.

The KidsPost is offering it’s Tenth Annual Summer Book Club for young readers.  This year’s choices include books by “blockbuster authors” such as Rick Riordan, Ann M. Martin, and John Grisham.  Most of the books are available at the library and each Wednesday, the KidsPost will review that week’s book and offer similar books that a reader may enjoy.

In addition to summer reading, consider enriching your child’s summer with cultural arts and science activities. Keeping children busy over the summer should help negate that pesky “summer slide.”

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you

Book Clubs for Preschoolers

February 16, 2010

Book Clubs are nothing new.  Since the inception of “Oprah’s Book Club” people everywhere have participated in their own book clubs.  Then the idea trickled down to classrooms and literature circles popped up, essentially a book club for students.  Honestly, literature circles may have been around before Oprah!  I think they just became a more accepted way of teaching since Oprah.  More recently, children have begun to participate in book clubs outside of school, for pleasure!  How wonderful is that!

I’ve heard of adult book clubs, teen book clubs, and book clubs for elementary readers. . . all independent readers.  But what about our smallest readers?  Our pre-readers deserve book clubs, too.

How to Start a Book Club for Preschoolers

  1. Discuss the idea with your playgroup or child’s preschool class.
  2. Choose a weekly time and place to meet and read.  Choose a facilitator for each week.  The facilitator chooses the book and the corresponding art project.
  3. Read aloud the picture book.  Make the reading interactive.  Ask questions as you read aloud.
  4. Discuss characters, plot points, setting, etc.  Make personal connections to the book.  Get kids interested in the book.  Ask: “What was your favorite part?  Your least favorite?”
  5. Provide an art activity to tie into the reading.

In the Book Club that I facilitate for preschoolers, I read aloud The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats.  We connected the book to times when it snowed and some of the things we did in the snow, just like Peter. (Little did I know at the time that we would have our record breaking snow accumulation just a short two months later!)  Then we made our own footprints in the snow with black paint on our fingers and put it on white paper.  It was a simple art project and connected to the book.

A simple, fun way to connect preschoolers with books. . . in a social setting.  Preschoolers need book clubs, too!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.