Book Club Sparks Vocab Lessons After School

Book Club Sparks Vocab Lessons After School

The fourth and fifth grade students in the Viking Zone Community Learning Center at Ninth District Elementary School are participating in a new book club.

Ms. Jackson, a fourth grade teacher at Ninth District, is leading the book club with the 1994 novel Tears of a TigerThe book was written by author Sharon Draper and tells the story of bad teenage decisions and the consequences that follow. Ms. Jackson intentionally picked a book that she felt would have scenarios and conversations between characters in which students could relate, creating teachable moments and encouraging thoughtful conversation.

Ms. Jackson is utilizing "popcorn" style reading, allowing students to take turns reading the text out loud. As facilitator of the club, there have been several opportunities for Ms. Jackson to start conversations and allow students to ask questions, including the meaning of an unfamiliar word or phrase. Examples of vocabulary from the text that has been incorporated into pre-writing and discussion activities include affirmative action, traumatic, stereotypes, and potential. The discussion generated from the deep dive into the meaning of each word has been valuable for the students. 

The author, Sharon Draper, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and worked as a teacher in Cincinnati for the Cincinnati Public Schools. The students' long term goal is to write letters to Ms. Draper, sharing their experience with the book club in hopes of receiving a letter in return, or maybe even a visit from the author herself!

Category: Education
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