|Book Clubs, Part Three: Running a Meeting|
it's time to get started!
It's a good idea not to have a book discussion that first meeting. Instead, talk about ground rules and what you hope your book club will become. Here are some things to think through beforehand:
- Will members be allowed to drop in when they feel like participating or will they be expected to attend regularly?
- What happens if a member hasn't finished the book?
- How can members prepare before the meeting?
- And a key question: What's the point of a book club?
Here's a handout I gave my students our first week together:
Welcome to Book Club!
Here are some things you should know:
In order to attend a meeting, you need to read the book. That's it!
Sometimes we'll read a book about a boy. Sometimes we'll read about a girl. If you are a boy, you CAN read about a girl and survive. I promise. Girls, same for you.
To make Book Club as interesting as possible, it is good, though not required, to jot down things as you read. Here are some ideas:
- How does this book compare to others I've read?
- Three words to describe this book would be...
- If I were the main character, I would have...
- I was suprised/annoyed/happy etc. when __________ happened.
- I like this book because...
- I didn't like this book because...
- My favorite character is _________ because...
- If I could change a part of the story, it would be ___________
- An important sentence in this story was _________ because...
- Any of your own ideas!
You can get yourself a notebook to write notes in. You can write ideas on a scrap of paper. Where you write doesn't matter.
Come to the meeting with something to say! The more you say, the more fun the discussion. If you have a copy of the book, bring it along, too.
Come as often as you like.
Invite your friends!
Challenge yourself to read a type of book you might not pick up on your own.
I'm looking forward to our year together.
Now that you're all on the same page, assign the first book, select it together, or pass out the list of books you've planned for the group to read ahead of time. Make sure to include a way to contact you. Make sure you've arranged with parents for transportation. Be prepared to be flexible. And just like I mentioned above, commit to having fun!
Next month, Book Club Pitfalls to Avoid.