One of the best parts of my job is the enrichment groups I teach to every grade. I get to work with strong readers who love to learn! Talk about fun!!
With the third graders, I’m focusing on chapter books. I know that they really need to be competent chapter book readers before they leave third grade. Here’s what we do.
We started by reading a chapter book together, The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors. I bought multiple sets with Scholastic Dollars, so that every student had a paperback copy. When we met in the library, I’d open the book in Overdrive on the projector screen, and I’d read a chapter aloud. Students could either follow along in their paperback book or on the screen (ulterior motive–introducing them to ebook reading).
After I finished reading a chapter, one student would draw a question from my Discussion Questions for Any Chapter Book. We’d discuss the question as a whole group. I could hear for myself that they were comprehending the chapter, and thinking about the text. Then the students would read the next chapter on their own before our next meeting.
After a few meetings, the students began to discuss the question in pair-shares. I could walk around the room, listening to their conversations. We really enjoyed this book–boys AND girls. We’re looking forward to more books in the Imaginary Veterinary series!
When we finished the book, I knew that every student had completely read the book and that each of them could capably discuss the book, responding to my questions based on critical thinking, not fact recall. So we moved on to book discussion groups.
I book talked several books, then let students choose what to read next. Now they are meeting in mini book clubs, reading chapters together, pulling a discussion question from the cup and discussing it. I love the hum of thoughtful conversations about books!
After testing these questions in my own library, I’ve made this product available on Teachers Pay Teachers. You just copy them (I used brightly colored card stock), cut them apart, and use them with any chapter book you want to discuss with your students!
I hope this product makes it easier for you to share chapter books with YOUR students! I know that classroom teachers have less and less time to read aloud. And let me know how they work for you!