Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Penny Dreadful Lunch Bunch Book Club

My friend and Atlanta author, Laurel Snyder has a new book out, Penny Dreadful and to go along with her book she has started a book club - not just any book club but a book club where the participants will read books from a list that "Penny" & Laurel have come up with. There are some great books on the list, many are classics (Ballet Shoes) and many are newer titles, destined to be classics (The Penderwicks).

I wanted to find a way to have some of my students participate in this so I came up with The 4th grade Penny Dreadful Lunch Bunch Book Club. I went into the six fourth grade classes we have here at my school and talked about the program - that we would all read a book from the Penny list (all read the same book), meet once a week at lunchtime and eat lunch in the media center and discuss the book. I was thinking I would have 5 or 6 kids want to participate - I had a HUGE response - so big that I realized that a big group like that would not work. SO I choose 12 students out of the responses as the first group. I have kept the names of the other students and I will choose 12 more after the New Year to be part of the next group.

I had chosen to read The Penderwick's as our first book because 1. I love the book and 2. I had seven copies of the book. The problem was, I had seven copies of the book and 12 students participating... So plan b was I would choose two different books to read. I had 6 copies of Because of Winn Dixie (another favorite of mine) so I decided that it would be the second book we would read. At the first meeting of our lunch bunch book club I talked about the club and how it would work and I divided up the students into two groups and handed out the books. We have met twice since that first meeting and the club is even better than I imagined it would be. The kids are having a great time discussing the books and I have been pleasantly surprised at how excited the students are to talk about the books! Because we are meeting every week, I ask the students to read to a certain chapter so we can all discuss the book up to that point. This week my Because of Winn Dixie group surprised me and all of them had finished the book!
The only downside to this group has been that we have had to divide into two groups. I really want to try and get at least twelve copies of each book that we read so the whole group can read one book and they can all participate in the discussion together.
As part of my quest to get enough books, I have created a project on If you need a tax deduction before the end of 2010 or just want to donate to our project we would be SOO appreciative! Here is the link to my DonorsChoose project. Take a look at the rest of the site, there are some GREAT projects out there that teachers are trying to get funded. I donated to a project at the high school in my hometown and I want to donate to a few more projects as part of my holiday donations.

Speaking of the Holidays, Hanukkah is almost over (last night is tonight) and Christmas is just around the corner - and more importantly for me, winter break is only seven school days away - two weeks where my alarm will not go off at 5 am, I am SOO looking forward to it!