Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Club #1: Charlotte's Web

I started a book club for young girls in January and we recently had our first monthly meeting with 5 girls, aged 7 to 10, attending. I got the idea and information I needed to get started from Lettres de mon Moulin. I tried to follow her 3-part format of: book discussion, show & tell, and then a group project.

Our first book was Charlotte's Web and our discussion came in 3 stages. My first questions was "What was your favorite part of the book?" The girls were pretty silent, probably because most of them didn't know each other. Alexandra only knew one of the girls.

So, I scraped that and went on to some "Who Am I?" questions. These were a big hit.
  1. I went out and found words for Charlotte to write in her web.
  2. I saved a baby pig from certain death and raised him with a bottle.
Then, I started some other questions, some of which I'd made up and others I'd found online. Here are some sample questions:
  1. If you had a baby pig, what would you name it?
  2. Who in the story seems cruel at first, but ends up doing good?
  3. Can you think of another character in a story who starts cruel but ends up good? (ex. The Grinch) - though, in after thought, I don't think Templeton really changed - he was who he was, he just was a grouchy helper
  4. How old do you think Charlotte was and why? (We discussed how she sounds "old", but she really must be young as the book pretty much told you about the life of a spider)
  5. While Wilbur was getting his award, where was Fern?
Then, I had picked up a book called Salutations: Wit and Wisdom from Charlotte's Web at the library that had quotes from Charlotte's Web. I read various quotes from the book and the girls had to figure out who said it. This was LOTS of fun! And, I wish I'd found the book earlier so we could have used it more for copywork.

The second stage of our book club was show and tell. Each girl was encouraged to make some kind of project or study related to the book. Three of the girls drew pictures, one girl wrote 2 poems, and Alexandra retold the story "From Wilbur's Eyes." (I'll have to get her permission to "publish" it.)

The last part of the club was the group project. I had found these "string art" kits at Michael's that I thought looked like webs. This was lots of fun!!! And, they turned out so beautiful. Alexandra finished hers in the car on the way to my mom's that weekend.

We also packed lunches and had a picnic on the floor. Then, we had web-covered cupcakes. We took cupcakes and frosted them and then took icing and made concentric circles on them. Then, we took a knife and "pulled" through the icing out to the sides in about 5 or 6 places, and it looked like a web!

So, that was our first book club meeting, and I think it was successful! Our book to read for February is James and the Giant Peach, a book we've read several times and really enjoy. The CD recording of it is great, too!


Robin said...

THAT is an awesome way to get kids interested in reading! And what a fabulous first choice for book.
GB loves to read, but he is in this strange phase where he thinks it's embarrassing to be 'caught' reading. So when we go to swim meets, he reads under his towel. It's a pretty funny site....LOL! He is deeply immersed in 'Inkheart' right now.

Rhonda said...

Wow! That sounds like so much fun. I am sure that the girls really enjoyed themselves. I loved "Charlotte's Web" as a child. So glad to hear that your first meeting turned out so well.

Darla said...

Thank you for posting on your book club experience. Our book club experience was okay but it lacked something. This sounds great!

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