Lunchtime Book Clubs
My name is Michele Sleight, and I am a veteran School Librarian. I currently
teach at Fredstrom Elementary School, in Lincoln. I try to find innovative ways to recreate my program each and every year! This is the story of just one example of something that has worked for me!
Finding time for special activities during a student’s busy school day can
sometimes be difficult. So I thought…what about lunchtime? Our 4th and 5th
Graders typically spend their 30 minute lunch period in the cafeteria. I thought
this would be a great time to target!
To gauge interest in lunchtime book clubs, I pitched this topic to our 4th and
5th Graders. I asked them to fill out a simple application that showed that they
could be committed to meeting weekly in the library, and reading the chapters
that we would be discussing. The amount of interest was amazing! I think about 50 of our 80 students were interested! So how could I choose? I put their names into a hat and pulled out eight (which felt like a manageable number).
Our PTO provided eight copies of Wish by Barbara O’Connor, which was a
Golden Sower last year (when I ran my first club). Our students were SO excited! Some asked do we REALLY get to keep this book? The group that was formed was at different reading levels, but I knew this could still definitely work! The students were excited to be grouped with people that they do not typically interact with during their reading class.
The goal of lunchtime book clubs was to get kids excited about reading and
discussing books, and to show them a book club could be fun! If someone forgot or didn’t have time to read their assignment, I gave them a break, and just asked them to catch up for the next time. At least one parent read each night with their student, and that student reported to me that their parent enjoyed the book as well!
In addition to the reading, it was an opportunity for these students to get to
know each other (and myself) better. It was also an alternative activity to their
typical lunchtime experience. I had so much interest in this club, I ran it during
additional quarters, with different students. It was always a fun time!
Of course I marketed this activity through social media posts. One student
this year said that her mom was scrolling through our Facebook, and saw the
mention of a book club, and asked if she could be involved. Creating a positive reading culture is always a goal for School Libraries, and I think this activity definitely helped us to stretch toward that goal!
If you have any questions about my experience, contact me at
What’s in a Book? ... A lot!
Hi everyone! I am Laurie Schlautman, K-5 Media Specialist for Schuyler Elementary. I wanted to share some ways I am planning my lessons around the test standards to team up with my teachers as they introduce test skills each week.
3rd grade seems to work the best, but I have also carried it over into the other grades. The kids get excited when I have the skill on my agenda as I show them the skills in our library books.
Here’s an example: Author’s Purpose
I show many different books and we practice what the Author’s Purpose is and then locate them in the library. My 4th graders also do book talks to persuade the other classmates to read these books. Along with that they also have to share what genre the book is and promote the book like an advertisement.
Similes...so many books have similes. To follow up, the kids wrote similes about themselves and then they inserted their own picture from Photobooth and printed them.
Genres is a fun one also…
This past week we did Poetry...love teaching this also. We can include alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhyming. We look at multiple examples and then work on our typing skills by typing up their own poems.
In 4th grade we spent a few weeks on References. Using World Book Online and Google Earth we practiced many skills with maps and expository text.
The kids love seeing what is on the agenda and get excited about what library books have their “test skill” that week. The teachers love sharing their weekly test skill and I can still read my favorite books with my lessons as well as incorporating the test skill too!
Have a great holiday season with your families and get re-energized!
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