What is Book Club?

Book Club is a way to teach literacy when reading good literature. It consists of 4 main components:

Reading: Students read good books with age-appropriate content
Writing: Students respond to their reading by writing in their reading logs in a variety of ways such as personal response, plot analysis, and critiquing the authors craft
Community Share: Teacher leads lessons and discussions of literacy knowledge, skills, and strategies such as literary elements, comprehension checking, and relating the text to other knowledge
Book Club: Students meet in small groups with their peers and discuss the reading

The Book Club Program:

A Balanced Approach to Literature-Based Instruction

Books describing Book Club:

Raphael, T. E., & Hiebert, E. H. (1996). Creating an integrated approach to literacy instruction. Ft. Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

[This book describes the knowledge base teachers drawn on when teaching using Book Club]

McMahon, S. I., & Raphael, T. E. (1997). The Book Club connection: Literacy learning and classroom talk. New York: Teachers College Press. [Order through TC Press or International Reading Association]

[This book was written by the creators of Book Club, both university based researchers and teacher researchers. It describes the theoretical and research base for Book Club, as well as how Book Club was extended for working with diverse learners. Further, in chapters by teachers and in a chapter by three former book club students, ideas for implementing Book Club in K-8 are discussed.]

Raphael, T. E., Pardo, S. I., Highfield, K., & McMahon, S. I. (1997). Book Club: A literature-based curriculum. Littleton, MA: Small Planet Communications, Inc. [Order information: 1 - 800 - 475 9486 or through International Reading Association]

[This book is a manual that helps teachers in upper elementary or early middle-school grades implement Book Club in their classrooms. It contains an overview of the program as well as descriptions of specific units. It has many sample mini-lessons developed within thematic units, and includes recommended books for Book Club and related classroom activities. Also available is a videotape overview of Book Club.]

Books related to Book Club

Raphael, T. E. & Au, K. H. (1998). Literature-based instruction: Reshaping the curriculum. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

[This edited volume examines literature-based instruction, with chapters divided into four sections: (a) knowing about literature and response, (b) literature-based curricula, (c) assessment, and (d) future directions. It is based on four preconvention institutes at International Reading Association, from 1992-1996.]

The collaborative project is described in:

Raphael, T. E., McMahon, S. I., Goatley, V. J., Bentley, J. L., Boyd, F. B., Pardo, L. S., & Woodman, D. A. (1992). Research directions: Literature and discussion in the reading program. Language Arts, 69(1), 55-61.

Goatley, V., Highfield, K., Bentley, J., Pardo, L. S., Folkert, J., Scherer, P., Raphael, T. E., & Grattan, K. (1994). Empowering teachers to be researchers: A collaborative approach. Teacher Research: The Journal of Classroom Inquiry, 1(2), 128-144.

Chapters and articles describing Book Club:

Raphael, T. E. (1998). Balanced instruction and the role of classroom talk. In J. Osborn & F. Lehr (Eds.), Literacy for all (pp. 134-169). NY: Guilford Press.

Raphael, T. E., Brock, C. H., & Wallace, S. (1998). Encouraging quality peer talk with diverse students in mainstream classrooms: Learning from and with teachers. In J. R. Paratore & R. McCormack (Eds.), Peer talk in the classroom: Learning from research. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Raphael, T. E., Goatley, V. J., McMahon, S. I., & Woodman, D. A. (1995). Promoting meaningful conversations in student book clubs. In N. Roser & M. Martinez (Eds.), Book talk and beyond (pp. 71-83). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Raphael, T. E., & McMahon, S. I. (1994). 'Book Club': An alternative framework for reading instruction. The Reading Teacher, 48(2), 102-116.

Raphael, T. E., & Goatley, V. J. (1994). The teacher as "more knowledgeable other:" Changing roles for teaching in alternative reading instruction programs. In C. Kinzer & D. Leu (Eds.), Multidimensional aspects of literacy research, theory and practice (pp. 527-536). Chicago, IL: National Reading Conference.

Gavelek, J. R., & Raphael, T. E. (1996). Changing talk about text: New roles for teachers and students. Language Arts, 73(3), 24-34.

Goatley, V. J., Brock, C. H., & Raphael, T. E. (1995). Diverse learners participating in regular education "Book Clubs". Reading Research Quarterly, 30(3), 352-380.

McMahon, S. I. (1994). Student-led Book Clubs: Traversing a river of interpretation. The New Advocate, 7(2), 109-125.

Internet and Technological Support for Book Club:

Small Planet Communications World Wide Web : http://www.smplanet.com

[This Web site was established for upper elementary and middle school teachers who wish to set up Book Club in their classrooms, reading literature that is also being read by other students in classrooms around the country. There is a teacher and a student bulletin board for each unit. Teachers and students can read exchanges from previous units as well as participate in ongoing discussion of current titles.]

Taffy E. Raphael, Ph.D., Department of Reading and Language Arts, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4494, 248 370 3020, raphael@oakland.edu


This site designed and maintained by WizardZone

Privacy Statement


Please contact the to report any problems or with comments or questions about this web site