Book Interviews

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SWBAT spend a day focusing on independent reading goals and generating ideas for independent texts.

Big Idea

What should I read next? Help students answer this question by engaging them in multiple book discussions.

Independent Reading, Pass Back Log, Check in on Reading Progress

30 minutes

To open today's lesson, students read independently and silently. I spend a good portion of time conferencing based on specific student need, based on 3 Day Reading Logs.

I preplanned my conferences and called students one by one to the back table.

  1. The first group of kids were those who needed to clarify the language used in their reading logs. Or they needed to further explain their "becauses." In all reading logs, I ask that students tell me the reason behind why they think, wonder, or predict something.
  2. This group of kids were students who I feared were not pushing themselves to go beyond their favorite genres. These two students were higher achievers. For me, it is important to push my high achieving readers to select titles outside of their "comfort zone."

When I finished with my conferences, I passed back the rest of the reading logs to the remaining students, noting those who I did not speak with. I will make a note to get to new people on Friday, during our next extended wide reading time frame.

Five Minute Focus Read: Log Set Up

10 minutes

In this part of the lesson, students prepare their independent weekly reading goals, using the Five Minute Focus Read Equation Sheet.

Watch this video for further explanation: Five Minute Focus Read Explanation Video.

These goals change weekly, depending on the complexity and text size of the books students are independently reading.

Book Interviews

30 minutes

I start by asking the question, what are the questions you ask yourself before you decide to read a book? Below, is a student generated question list created before the interviews began.

  1. Then I let the kids create a bank of questions for independent reading interviews. Here are a smattering of questions I've gotten in the past:
  2. What has been the highlight/favorite part of the book so far? (No spoilers)
  3. What genre? How do you know? Fiction/Nonfiction?
  4. Who is the author?
  5. What is your setting? WHERE AND WHEN??
  6. Tell me a little plot.
  7. Tell me about the characters? What is the protagonist doing right now? Is there an antagonist?
  8. Do the characters go on an emotional journey? And overcome it?
  9. What is the protagonists mission or goal?
  10. What is the overall mood? Is it suspenceful?
  11. What is the time span of the book? Does it move quickly? What is the pace?

Then I pass out the Book Interview Recording Sheet and place kids in two circles around the room.
There is an inner and outer circle. The outer circle will stand still; the inner circle will rotate clockwise, as many times that we have time for. Then, kids will interview one another about their book choices. They can choose any three questions from the board to ask one another about their current independent reading book, the goal of course being for students to be exposed to as many titles as possible.

Wrap Up: What were the highlights?

5 minutes

In the final part of the lesson, students recap the day's activity by sharing some of their favorite book suggestions. I call on kids in a whole group setting to share books they enjoyed hearing about. I urged kids to give a shout out, not only to the book, but to the person who recommended the story.