Reflection: Organizational Systems Setting Norms and Goals for Book Club Discussions - Section 3: Book Club Organizational Meeting


I had a really hard time making groups for these book clubs. I gave the students complete choice of which of the four novels they wanted to read. This means that I have to be really careful to make sure there is a strong leader in each group and that I don't put too many of my less than diligent students in one group.

To do this, I reviewed my list and basically picked group captains (strong students who could lead). I then filled in the groups making sure to give each captain at least one person who would motivate and stimulate the conversation with them. My Fahrenheit groups are definitely the shakiest, which I attribute to the fact that most students who chose this book chose it because it was the shortest book, which should give you a good indication of their level of investment. I have four really strong students reading this novel, so I made sure to spread them between the two groups and I will just have to make sure I support them more than I might support other groups that are more solid. 

As I circulated the room today, I was heartened by the discussions I heard. Generally, students weren't asking plot based questions. They were really trying to grapple with interpreting what the authors were up to and why they were doing what they were doing. As I mentioned in my video, I am really trying to support students with class time in this unit so that the only homework they have is to read. By building this organizational structure to support what is an otherwise messy and student-led unit of study, I am hoping that kids will be able to enjoy the books and have good/deep conversations in the various venues I provide. 

  Setting Purpose and Grouping Artfully
  Organizational Systems: Setting Purpose and Grouping Artfully
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Setting Norms and Goals for Book Club Discussions

Unit 14: Literary: Dystopian Fiction Literature Circles
Lesson 3 of 13

Objective: SWBAT analyze complex characters as they propel plot by participating in a book club discussion for their dystopian choice novels.

Big Idea: Today is our first book club meeting. As a group, students will determine what roles, responsibilities and goals they want to work together to accomplish.

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