Elementary Book Club ideas

I've been running a kids book club for kids in grades 3-5 for 5 years now and overall it has been a positive program.  Over the years, the kids have chosen books from a variety of genres and completed some sort of project to share with the group. Sometimes we've done the projects during meeting time and other times it has been a homework project. They earn a badge according to the different genres they read and we share some fun book talks. But after 5 years, this is growing stale, and I am running out of ideas. I'd love to hear from others who run book clubs for young people...ideas, ideas, ideas welcome.
Thanks, Connie

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  • Hi Connie,

    This is an awesome idea to have a book club for 3-5 graders!  I've been doing a "chapter" book club in my own classrooms for years now and my students absolutely love it.  I started it when I taught 1st grade and the students can join the chapter book club when they begin reading chapter books.  This has encouraged my first graders to practice their reading skills, read often, and get better at reading so they can be ready to join the club and read chapter books.   Now, that I am teaching 2nd grade, we start our book club at the beginning of the year since most come to me already reading chapter books.   My book club meets during lunchtime once a week.  We eat lunch together and have discussions over the different books they've read and would like to recommend to others.  I have also created membership cards, bookmarks, and book recommendation slips for my book club.  My students are proud when they receive their membership cards and seemed to show them off to everyone they see in the hall. :)  I would love to extend it to include more grades (like you) because I'm sure all students would love to be a part of a club. It's a "cool" thing for them. .:)

  • Hi Connie! I recently designed a book club program, and at the monthly meetings we set up stations with different activities related to the books: quick and easy crafts, STEAM activities, or additional research on fun topics related to the book. It was actually pretty easy to plan and set up. I'm hoping that having different activities at each meeting will keep it fresh and exciting!

  • Hello Everyone,

    I wanted to start a book club at my elementary in the Spring. How do you go about setting up the book club? What policies and procedures do you? If funding is needed where does the funding allotment come from? What is difficult to get you school administration on board. Thank in advance for ideas and, answering my  questions. I am a new librarian and I am trying to implement some things at my school.

  • Hi there,

    I am doing a collaborative Harry Potter book club with the town Public Children's Librarian and another elementary Teacher-Librarian in my district. In fact, our third meeting of six is this afternoon.  First the adults met to divide the chapters of the first HP book up so we could each make discussion questions and to plan activities to do at each meeting with students in grades 3, 4 and 5.  We began with this well known book because there is a great deal of enthusiasm for students who are now just discovering the series and because of the recent creation of Pottermore and Scholastic's HP website.

    At our meetings so far we have set up students on Pottermore (it takes 24 hours for the account to be active), then used Pottermore for exploration with the students, did a discussion, we made lists of read-alikes for peers and at the last meeting we watched half the Scholastic podcast where JK Rowling answers questions and reads from the first book.  The kids LOVED having her read to them and we followed along in our own books.

    Today we are going to go back to Pottermore and play a bit collecting objects, we'll do some discussion and then listen to the rest of the podcast if it is still available on the Scholastic website.  We are also being flexible and if students have ideas we will go with what they would like to do in connection with the first book.  We are going to offer them the opportunity to listen to the audio book at some point as well.


    I think the students who sign up for book clubs are already good readers and that makes it enjoyable for them and easier for us because no one has to be dragged into the story, they are already invested in the characters and often are fonts on knowledge.

    Our final meeting will be a celebration with HP food and we will play the HP trivia game.  There are plans that if this is successful we will have a book club for the second HP in the series.

    Mary Tichey-Staack, Teacher-Librarian

    Branchville Elementary

    Ridgefield, CT

  • I run a club I call Floor Hockey Book Club. It happens once a month in the evening and is a book club for parents and their children in grades 4-7. The families come and play floor hockey in the gym, have a healthy snack in the library and then we discuss the book we've agreed to read that month. Parents must commit to reading the book. Some parents and children do this independently, others share the reading. At the end of each meeting, I booktalk about four books and the children choose the one that the group will read. If the club numbers are high, I divide the sessions by having a 4/5 group and a 6/7 group (and we alternate who does the book part first and who does the floor hockey first - also meaning I enlist the help of another teacher to supervise the gym). The idea behind this was to encourage reluctant readers to come out with the floor hockey as the carrot. As it turned out, it also encouraged some of my passionate readers to become more active. I only run the club for about 4 sessions, starting in January (skipping March break) and ending in May. It builds literacy and a nice sense of community in our school.

  • Last year was my first year in an elementary school with a pop of 850.  We did book club on Fridays with each grade level.  I didn't have a clue plus we didn't have books for them to read altogether.  I ended up trying to use technology on old computers and it was okay.  I did wordle with 2nd grade, animoto with 4th (horrible, they didn't know how to use computers) and puppets at the end of school with 1st grade.  I wanted to use podcast with 3rd grade but everything is blocked in our district.  I hope this year will better.

    I like the videotapping booktalks and book club lunches.

    • I like that idea book club lunches. How did you get approval for special foods. My district is very strict about outside food during the day. . Great idea.

  • I have had several book club meetings during lunch time with 2nd grades. This was an optional event, and they brought their lunches to the library to meet and discuss the books. The boys and girls met separately last year. The books that we read were Alvin Ho, Home Run, and Just Grace. I also did a meeting around Valentines Day that was a "Books We Love." They each brought a book that they looooovvved and told a little about it. It was really fun to see the books that they chose to bring and talk about. I ended up having two meetings for each of the clubs because we had 100% participation. I bought paperback copies of all of the books that we used so that there were plenty available for checkout. I'll definitely do it again this year. I'm thinking of doing a Mother/Daughter supper club using Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in January when the 2nd grade studies Ancient China.
    I love the "Adopt a Shelf" idea!
  • I run a morning book club called Page Turners for any 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader in my elementary school (2nd graders may join us in January). I have found that kids just simply want time to read. No reports, comprehension questions, or projects...they just want to read. If they wish, students may also respond to our Lewis and Clark Reads blog, review books, booktalk to other club members, or adopt library shelves to care for. Now that I have flipcameras, my readers will also have the option of creating video booktalks.

    This will be my 4th year for the club and I have yet to hear any complaints, kids just simply want to read!
    • love the idea that the children "adopt a bookshelf" def. gonna steal this one. I know that the kids really enjoy spending special time in the library helping out, but adopting a shelf is a great way to allow them ownership, and I think it will create a bigger sense of responsibility. Can you elaborate on what exactly their responsibilities are? Kinda of a dumb question I know...but this is my first year as a librarian and I'd like to have a great outline to explain to students.
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