One of the most effective ways to encourage reading is by reading together. A book club for younger readers is simply an extension of the activity of reading at home with a parent. Invite others to join in: school friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles or neighbours.
A reading club is an ideal way to:
• Foster a young learner’s love of books
• Motivate more reluctant readers
• Bring extended family members and friends into the learning process
• Build confidence and develop literacy skills
Remember, starting a book club doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Keep it simple: find some family members, find some friends, and ask everyone to bring along some books.
Step 1: Select a Book to Read
Put the names of books in a jar. Each reader can select one name from the jar and reveal the book they are going to read. This adds some excitement and also makes choosing books a fair process for everyone.
Step 2: Find a Reading Spot
Show your young learners that reading can be done anywhere at any time. Find some cushions or bean bags and create a relaxing outdoor session to read. Next time you could try reading around the kitchen table with snacks, or tucked up under blankets on the sofa.
Step 3: Bring the book to life
Give each young learner the task of finding items related to the book that they can use to show and tell in the book club. The items can be anything related to the story: an object, a toy, or something significant to the story.
Begin book club with a show and tell. Allow everyone to have a voice and talk about the object they’ve brought along.
Step 4: Read Together
Shared reading can provide a lot of fun to younger learners. It encourages them to use a range of voices, facial expressions and intonation. Choose certain sections of the story to get everyone involved. Encourage the group to read aloud at the same time. This technique can help learners remember key words and phrases or important scenes from the book.
Step 5: Rate the Book
Encourage learners to tell you what they liked about the book and also what they did not like. Create a chart and rate the books (you can use a rating out of ten, or a star system or use emoji symbols). Encourage learners to express their opinions and talk about both the positives and negatives.
• What did you enjoy about the story?
• What would you change?
The second question allows for some creativity. The young learners can think about adding a new character, taking a character out or changing the ending of the book.