Grace and I hosted the children's book club this afternoon, and I think that it went well. I would expect that it will take the children and I several meetings to really find our rhythm. It has been a long time since I led a group of children in a discussion about a book!
I found some really good group discussion questions online and that helped me to have a jumping off point. It was interesting to see how much of the book the children comprehended (a lot) and how much they could delve deeper into the meaning behind the story. When I was teaching I was always astonished at how much children could add to a discussion when really pushed to stretch themselves. My challenge is how to do that in a small group outside of school. I want this book club to be enjoyable and not just another "educational" experience for them. I find myself wanting the children to love the book as much as I do and to "get" it. I have to remind myself that as an adult I bring a lot more experience into my reading of the book (I sobbed when Charlotte died!).
Anyway, the children did great and we really did have some insightful discussion about the story. My favorite was when we discussed whether Templeton, the rat, was a hero or the villain. (Also, when we got into a vegetarian discussion!) As we discussed the book we had a snack of pigs in a blanket (I couldn't help myself) and spider cupcakes.
After our discussion we did a small activity. They children made a glue web and wrote a word in the middle to describe a friend.
Hannah and her web