Donna Santman came to town… and it was uh-may-zing. Have you read her book yet?? And, she’s writing a new book specifically designed to manage book clubs better with scaffolds and tangible take-aways… !!
She stopped by our 8th grade class, who were trying to read their books through the lens of a gender critic when the kids were asking themselves:
How does the gender of the author affect the plot? The gender of the character? How does your gender influence the reading? Current gender stereotypes? Past gender stereotypes?
If you are interested in doing some of this kind of stuff, check out this book Developing Critical Awareness at the Middle Level .
But, then Donna shattered my world and said: “How are they building off of each others’ ideas? Why aren’t they doing it in book clubs?”
My response in my head was (we are out of money and it’s not the easiest thing in the world to manage 6 books clubs of 6 kids…)
But, then the pragmatist in my head said… what about partner books? We ordered every book in our library in sets of two (thank goodness). Of course they would get a deeper reading with this lens after bouncing it off a kid who either disagrees or agrees. Of course we should do all of our lessons in partner books (okay, I might be going crazy, but I swear that for the rest of the year we are going to do our lessons in partner books and I’ll let you know how it goes).
Long story short, we are going to do partner books next week with with the same set of aims and until June 23rd :-).