Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bookworms Book Club - We Are in a Book!

Guess what? We, here at Library Village, actually do other programming besides story times!!

I started a book club for children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade last winter, and it has been a hit!  We are called the "Bookworms," and we've read some really fun stories such as:

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

Some parents think I'm crazy when I hand them a picture book or beginning reader for the book club because they think the books are too easy.  I think it's important to note that I'm not trying to challenge their reading.  Instead, I'm teaching them how to be in a book club.  This means how to have a group discussion, where everyone gets a turn to talk, and how to analyze a book and find the right words to discuss it.  In this way, the children are building vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as social skills.  We are also celebrating the joys of reading!

We took the summer off, so September was our first meeting for the school year.

September's Book: We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
Gerald the Elephant and his best friend Piggie have many zany adventures together in this series.  In We Are in a Book!, they realize that a reader is reading them!  Can they make the reader say anything they want? And what happens when the book comes to an end??

Miss Kristie made us these fabulous name tags: 

We always start out reading the book aloud, story time style.  Since the children have already read it, this is a great way to have some discussion about the book as we read.  We talk about what we see in the artwork, what the characters' intentions are, why they have certain reactions, etc.  My goal is to go beyond reading comprehension, guiding the children in how to analyze a book and it's author.

I ask a lot of open-ended questions, asking about favorite characters, favorite parts of the story, and what they thought the author was trying to convey.  I don't want it to feel like school; just like a fun and relaxed conversation.

Here's one thing I thought was great, and showed how much they were thinking: the Elephant &Piggie Party Kit  (from Mo Willems' website) stated that Elephant is the serious one, and Piggie is the silly one.  When I asked the kids who they thought was the serious one, they all said Piggie!  I think this makes a lot of sense because to a young child, Piggie's dry sense of humor comes off quite serious, while Elephant's over-the-top reactions come off quite silly.

Next we did an Elephant & Piggie Mad Lib from the Party Kit.  I was afraid they wouldn't know what Mad Libs are or understand how to do it, but they did a great job!  We went around the group and every child gave a word, and then I read the story - it was hilarious!  We did it twice!

I had more activities planned, but we had such a great discussion that we were running out of time!  We moved on to the craft, paper bag puppets, which I found at Three Little Birds.  There wasn't a template, so I printed out her samples and recreated them.  Ours turned out pretty cute, and the kids had fun recreating the story with their puppets!

While they crafted, I couldn't resist showing them this awesome Elephant & Piggie Dance Game.  They thought it was hilarious!

How it went:

I was so pleased to have 9 children attend this book club!  They were very enthusiastic and had a great time.  I was worried they were too young for the Mad Libs, but they loved it, and I was worried they were too old for the paper bag puppets, but they loved those, too!  These kids always surprise me with how bright and creative they are! 

Can't wait til our October meeting!  We'll be reading The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey!


  1. I love this idea and have been kicking it around to try to start at our library for a while - glad to see how well yours went! (And, my 3 y.o. loves Gerald and Piggy, so thank you for some great ideas I can use with him too! He will LOVE the puppets!)

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback! I have had a ton of fun with this book club! And I love Elephant & Piggie, too!
    -Miss Kristen :)