Why a book club is a good idea for your students
Developing a love of reading at a young age is key to a child’s development, and various research suggests it helps with their educational development too. Book clubs can provide access to reading materials for students, giving them a chance to enhance their learning.
National Read a Book Day, marked on 6th September annually, provides a great opportunity for teachers to foster a love of reading among their pupils, and to highlight the many benefits of reading. Not only can it help to develop children’s vocabulary and mental skills, but it can also support enhanced knowledge retention.
As it’s close to the start of the new school year too, it’s also a fantastic excuse for teachers to set up a book club for students. At primary level, children can be encouraged to grab a book and kick-start the academic year, with classroom activities also linked to whatever they’ve been reading.
Understanding the benefits of a book club
Alongside the benefits already mentioned, reading can be a powerful tool for encouraging children to use their imagination. It can also support their inquisitive nature, as they can learn to question what they read and to consider alternative scenarios and ways of thinking. For younger pupils, this can be developed into a lifelong love of learning, which will help them throughout their time in education and the workplace.
Reading as part of a book club enables a teacher or school to create an environment in which students can ask questions and learn among their peers. They can discuss what they read, develop ideas and enhance their understanding. It’s also a great opportunity to engage with pupils by looking into the deeper meanings of texts and exploring new theories.
In addition, book clubs provide a chance for pupils to share recommendations on texts they enjoy, and even the chance for several class groups or year groups to interact. By providing a range of genres and titles, youngsters can choose books which appeal to their interests, which also means they’re likely to be more engaged with what they’re reading.
What to consider when setting up a book club
If you’re a teacher and you’re planning to set up a book club in your school, make sure you’ve given plenty of thought to the resources and texts you might want to use. Give careful consideration to what you want to achieve too, as this means you’ll be able to keep those goals in mind throughout every book club session too.
You may wish to target certain books that are related to the curriculum, or you could encourage pupils to provide recommendations during discussion. Look to ensure that everyone has an input into what books are read, or you could set challenges relating to specific texts as an activity to follow on from National Read a Book Day. Regardless of how you intend to harness a love of reading, a book club could be just the start.
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