Although I'd like to think all our Tween Bookclub members came purely for the love of reading, I know the truth - chocolate, lollies and other goodies - even if it was just a small inexpensive lollipop, definitely aided their presence!
Ok, so you might not want to have these sugary treats on offer, or the parents might not want their children having them - it's entirely up to you. But start as you mean to go on. If you have none in the beginning, none will be expected.
The tray became a huge part of our Tween Book club with all the goodies on offer (as mentioned in my previous post). But the members had to do something before they were given the opportunity to choose something off it.
But first we begin with the members arriving:
- The members sign in by ticking the box next to their name on the list you have prepared prior - or they enter their details onto the list while you are writing them a new name tag. (See the next post why they sign in.)
(Make sure their email address is correct so you can let them know all the details of the next bookclub night.)
- They make themselves comfortable on cushions or beanbags or whatever you have chosen to use. I found these help the members to relax. They are with other children they haven't met yet, and may be unsure of new surroundings if it is in a bookshop or somewhere they are not familiar with.
We began every Tween Bookclub with the tray.
- On the very first meeting you could ask members to talk about their favourite book, or author, why etc, or about the book they have brought along for the first meeting.
Some will be too shy to do this on the first Bookclub, but there will always be a keen, confident member or two who can't wait to talk about their book, or favourite author.
- Ask them to come up the front with you (I always sat on a chair - not the floor!) and talk about their book.
Public speaking is frightening for many - young and old. But this is a way to help the young members with that. They will have to stand up in front of their class at school at some stage, and parents commented on how doing this with a smaller group such as Tween Bookclub, helped with those fears.
- First, have them introduce themselves (even if they are wearing nametags), say how old they are and maybe what school they are at?
- Help them to structure their review by asking simple questions like who wrote it, why did they like it, etc and further down the track when they have a few bookclubs under their belt, you can add questions about genre, style, point of view or any manner of things, which will help them structure book reviews for school etc in the future.
- Keep their review/talk to about 2-3 mins each, and then when they have finished, offer them something from the tray.
Suddenly, eyes light up and they realise that if they are brave enough to do a review, they too can choose from the tray.
Bribery? Trickery? _ I call it Incentive!
My next post will cover just that! What next?