There is No Friend as Loyal as a Book. Ernest Hemingway
Is there anything better than devouring a book on a cold, winter day covered in a blanket with maybe a cup of hot chocolate nearby? Well, the G5/6 students did just that over winter break! They all chose a book to take home and read to share and discuss with the class in the new year. We call this the “Book Talk,” and we try to read for pleasure every month or so on top of our mandatory class reader books.
After taking a few weeks to read their books, each student is asked to come up in front of the class to introduce and talk about their books. Although it is very casual, we have a loose guideline of significant points that need to be included when summarizing their books such as book title, author, time setting and/or context, characters, plot, and most importantly their opinion.
Not only is Book Talk about sharing what they read, students also practice their public speaking skills. Through public speaking, we try to boost their confidence, improve communication skills, develop fluency and vocabulary, improve critical thinking skills, enhance organizational skills, polish writing skills, cultivate analytical thinking skills, and more! The audience also learns to be good listeners, make better connections, build deductive skills, etc.
Unlike class readers where students are given a book to read to go with our cross curricular themes, Book Talk allows students to pick a book purely for enjoyment in order to fuel and widen their knowledge and imagination. By having Book Talks, students are encouraged to engage deeper with the book, give and get new perspective, and foster a continuing love for literature. Between the pages of a book is a wonderful place to be… that and a classroom full of friends!