Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Engaging With Literature

About This Video Library

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Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the Conversation

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature

5. Sharing
the Text

About This Video Clip »
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Classroom Snapshot »
Classroom Lesson Plan
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6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground

9. Discussion

Site Map

5. Sharing the Text

Classroom Lesson Plan: Book Clubs

BJ Namba's lesson plan is also available as a PDF file. See Materials Needed, below, for links to student activity sheets related to the lesson.

Teacher: BJ Namba, Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawai`i
Grade Level: Third
Topic: Book Club Discussions

Materials Needed:

Background Information:

Closely connected with book club discussions in this classroom are the variety of "engagements" Ms. Namba offers her students. These activities are designed to help students focus or develop their thinking about the literature more fully as well as to enrich further discussions of the literature. The Consensus Board and Sketch to Stretch engagements that comprise this lesson are two possibilities. Other videos in this library (and in Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8) present other activities teachers might use such as Tableaux, Save the Last Word for the Artist, and Reader's Theater.

Lesson Objectives:

Students will:
  • Read and enjoy literature.
  • Use their book club folders to write in response to their reading.
  • Use sticky notes to identify questions, Golden Lines, and issues for discussion.
  • Share and discuss their observations with classmates in book club groups.
  • Use language effectively to create knowledge, make meaning, challenge thinking, and expand their literary envisionments.
  • Use language to develop as a classroom community of thinkers and learners, respectful of views other than their own.
  • Develop increasing independence as envisionment-building readers of literature.
  • Use various engagements to solidify and present their developing envisionments.
  • Make personal connections to the literature and understand the experiences of the characters it portrays.
Expected Products From Lesson:

  • Written responses about the book
  • Bookmark notes
  • Sticky notes marking text passages and recording questions
  • Group Consensus Boards
  • Sketch to Stretch Activity
Instructional Strategies Implemented:

  • Mini-lesson on use of sticky notes to record ideas and questions
  • Mini-lesson on Golden Lines to target key passages
  • Book club discussions of novels to examine and further develop understandings
  • Consensus Board activity and sharing to explore perspectives and points of view
  • Sketch to Stretch activity and sharing to provoke thinking

Collaborative Structure of Class:

As in many envisionment-building classrooms, movement between whole-class meetings and small-group discussions and activities is the daily norm. To accommodate this range of activity, student tables are clustered in groups of four or five. A carpeted area at the front of the classroom accommodates larger group meetings.

Lesson Procedures/Activities:

  • Students meet in book club groups to discuss their first impressions of the novel. They refer to their texts (and their sticky-note recordings), their written responses, and their bookmarks to guide their discussion.
  • Students work together to create a Consensus Board on which they spend 10 minutes recording their thoughts and personal connections to the novel. After sharing what they have written with their classmates, the group reaches a consensus about the one issue they wish to discuss during their next meeting. They write this issue in the central rectangle on the Consensus
  • Board for ready reference later.
  • In preparation for the next discussion, students skim their reading to find information about the selected issue from the Consensus Board. They mark pertinent passages with sticky-notes and make notes in their book club folders.
Follow-Up or Culminating Activities:

Students will complete one of the following activities:
  • A written response about the book in their book club folders.
  • A sketch to stretch activity.
  • A story map.

Students may be assessed on a daily basis through:
  • Written responses to their reading.
  • Participation in group discussions.
  • Thoughtfulness of their self-assessments.
The following activities might receive holistic or scaled evaluation (see Assessment and Evaluation: Some Useful Principles for a detailed explanation of holistic and scaled evaluation).

The culminating book club activity, such as:
  • A written response about the book in their book club folders.
  • A sketch to stretch activity.
  • A story map.
  • Some other project.


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