Children’s Book Discussions

20 May

lunchwalksamongus_gryphon04I have been working for the past few weeks on getting many of my book discussions finished before the onslaught of summer reading is upon us.  I’ve found that if I have everything ready to go, all I need to do is print out the questions, review the story and jump right into book discussion.  Our library offers a number of book discussion opportunities for kids, but what I’m most excited about is that last year we tried two book discussions for children entering 3rd and 4th grade and they enjoyed it so much that we offered a few more book discussions throughout the school year.  This summer we’re upping the number of book discussions to three, one in June, July, and August.

The kids entering 3rd and 4th grade are really excited about book discussions and actually read the books, which is very different from the number of middle schoolers who never read the book but want to participate in book discussion.  For those discussions we have to discuss more thematic ideas rather than book-specific questions.  But, what I have found for the younger students is that they’re very good at answering discussion questions, but I find it more difficult for them to discuss a question amongst each other.  They can answer it solely and answer it well, but they don’t respond to each other very well.  It’s definitely a different dynamic, but the kids are very passionate about reading and love to express their opinions.

Choosing books can also be more difficult because children entering 3rd and 4th grade can be at very different reading levels.  I always try to find something that the kids will have fun reading.  Last summer, we read Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight and Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Elizabeth Gifford.  This year, we have David Lubar visiting our library, so we’re going to read Hyde and Shriek by David Lubar in the hopes of getting kids excited about the author visit, The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet by Tony Abbott (part of The Secrets of Droon series) and Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist by Jim Benton.  I have found that this group of kids love to read series, so if I can get them hooked on the first one I always try to bring read-alikes for them to check out including the next in the series.  I’m excited to see what the kids think of these stories – I hope they like them as much as I did!

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One Response to “Children’s Book Discussions”

  1. Kristel May 21, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Book suggestion: our 3rd/4th grade book group read “Alvin Ho : allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters” by Lenore Look and loved it!

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