Today I am kicking off Historical Book Clubs. Students will start by reading a book that is set in the 1850s in the United States. Books are focused on slavery and/or the civil war. My plan is to assign students their first book and match kids and put them into heterogenous clubs. I made a word document table I will use to keep track of who is reading what book. All of the books that I assigned are of a readability level that is just right for about 80% of my students. The books range in Fountas & Pinnell levels of N to T. I have a few readers that the book is too hard for them to read it independently- and a few readers at the upper end who are able to read harder books. But for this first go round I want them to learn how to write detailed summaries within and across books, so all students are practicing this skill in picture books before they move on to chapter books. I have included an anchor chart of important teaching points that I found on the internet from another teacher. This will be very useful to me as I teach students about the importance of understanding the historical context and its impact on the decisions and lives of the characters. This will also be helpful as I teach students to be able to see events from differing points of view.
I have accommodations for the students who need extra help reading. Four students will be working with a resource room teacher during independent reading. I have matched up my ELL students with a partner and they are reading together. I also will be pulling strategy groups to support students with the reading of the books.
The mini-lessons that precede independent reading periods are carefully designed to support students with comprehension strategies. The book talks with their peers are designed to support students' comprehension as they work through the elements of plot, determining main events, and eventually being able to see the importance of the historical context the book is set in.
The activities and learning tasks I am planning will support all students in the skill of being able to write a summary of their book. The final project will include students synthesizing across three historical fiction books by writing a literary essay.
First, I will set the stage by outlining the three things that make historical fiction difficult to envision and comprehend.
1. These books have a setting that is unfamiliar.
2. These books take place long ago before you were born.
These reasons sometimes makes it hard to imagine or visualize the scenes in the book.
3. In historical fiction you have to also understand and learn about the historical tensions, or issues that the story has included. This is how we can learn about historical events- But we always need to be aware of whose points of view of expressed in the telling of the story. History has as many points of view- and we must remember that.
"The good news is you will not be alone as you read these books. You will be a member of a book club. You and your book club members will be discussing the settings, time periods, and historical tensions that the story includes.
First, so that you are successful, lets review our discussion norms. We can add and revise our list as necessary."
Next, ask students to turn and talk about anything we might need to add to the list for book clubs.
Revise Norms as necessary. (Make new chart titled Book Club Norms after school to refer to during the rest of the unit.
"Students you will be reading a series of historical fiction books on the topic of slavery and the civil war in the coming weeks. Here is how our workshop will go:
Independent Read: 11:30-11:55 Students write post-it notes
Book Club Discussions 12:00-12:15 Use discussion norms to discuss and add on to your post-its with book club members
Reading Response 12:15-12:30 Turn post-its into paragraph in reading response notes.
"You have a lot of learning to do and limited time. You know that talking with others about historical fiction is going to be helpful to you. So you do not want to waste any time. Today I am going to teach you how our historical fiction book clubs are going to sound and look during the reading workshop.
Today we are going to practice the 4 parts of the workshop.
First, I will let you know what book you will be reading and who is in your group.
Next, you will learn how to get your book and go back to your seat to independent read.
Then, when I give the signal, you will go to your meeting spots with your materials ( your book, reading response and post-it notes, and a pencil,
Finally, you will go back to your seat and write a paragraph using your notes. At the end of the workshop you will return your books in the bin marked with the title of your book.
Let's start by seeing the groups and getting your books.
Show the document with the book clubs members and book titles.
Now as I call your book club you will go over to the counter and get your book and sit down and start previewing your book."
Continue dismissing the book clubs in this manner. Once all kids are seated and have materials.
Say, "Now we are going to fast-forward and pretend that 30 minutes have gone by and you have read and written your post-its. When this timer goes off- you will now it is time to gather in your book clubs. Each club will meet in a different part of the room. Today we are going to practice moving into our spots quickly and quietly. Remember to bring your materials your your club meeting- because that is what you are going to be talking about. You'll bring your books, Reading Response Notebook and your pencil. Let's practice. Remember to move quickly and quietly. I'll time you. I expect you to be able to get into your clubs in under 60 seconds. You will practice until you are successful. Before you go look at this map of the class room so you'll know where your club will meet."
I'll show a map under the document camera.
Ok. Please join your book club. I will time the students and have them practice until they come in under 60 seconds are move quietly.
Now that you are in your book club, we are going to once again fast forward to the end of your discussion and now you are going to move quickly and quietly back to your desks. you have one minute. Go!
I will hold students to the high standard of moving back to their seats quietly and quickly. I will have students practice this until they are successful.
Great job, students. Now that you are back at your seat, starting tomorrow you will write a paragraph about what you learned based on your post-it notes.
Do you see how much you have to remember? Once you have learned the structure and routines all your attention and focus can be on the ideas and information in your books. I am so excited for our class to start book clubs."
For the "Share out" section, students will make a T-Chart and list the things that went well in the workshop and things they are going to work on tomorrow. We will then briefly discuss and I will chart their ideas on a T-chart under the doc camera. At the start of tomorrow's lesson students reread our class T-Chart so their on task behaviors improve.