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  • Wlvers
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • February 19, 2020, 10:18:30 pm
    • Korea
Afterschool Book Club in these COVID times
« on: October 14, 2020, 02:16:05 pm »
So every year at my middle school they run a book club for afterschool class. Typically, students will consistently attend two days a week (Thursdays and Fridays) for an hour each time and it's generally a consistent group. I would just teach a book and read a couple of chapters each session, then assign some simple questions and discuss.

However this year, with COVID, I've been at a loss over what to do.

Reading a single book continuously is impossible. Some weeks certain students are there, other weeks they're not and are online learning. It's not a consistent schedule and there's overlap between grades' attendance so it's not possible to work out the logistics of planning for when each grade will be at school.

So far I tried starting off with The Little Prince but it quickly became a mess when students rocked up who'd never been before and students who started then weren't able to come for 3 weeks. I tried switching to short stories but it's very hard to find ones at their level that are brief enough to be covered in a couple of sessions. I tried printing out some simplified English news articles and discussing them, good for 3rd graders but 1st and 2nd grade aren't really interested.

I've tried to ask that we just abandon the book club idea this year due to the circumstances (it would be a lot easier to just teach one-off free English lessons) but they're adamant I do it.

Any suggestions for how I can make this work?

  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4619

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Afterschool Book Club in these COVID times
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 04:48:31 pm »
yeah, maybe better to do single-lesson readings. i'd ask them what they are interested in and find some articles about that. or, just take find your own interesting themes

maybe try something like british council. some good ideas here

warm up
comprehension questions
production activity based on reading

  • starryella
  • Adventurer

    • 69

    • November 07, 2019, 04:29:39 pm
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Afterschool Book Club in these COVID times
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 11:21:13 am »
Hey, I have done this consistently for the past year!

I have a rinse-and-repeat format with some different activities. I like to stretch books into two classes whenever possible, but we read the whole book in each class. The second class is a refresher that I use for extra comprehension, and it also lets students who missed the first class catch up.

I make PPTs of the books, since due to corona we weren't supposed to share materials and I chose a lot of books we only had 1 copy of. This also lets me revise the books as I like. I often revise complicated tenses into present tense and simplify sentences to suit what my kids know. I think it's just a lot better for everyone if the students can understand more of the book without translation and miming. I feel like maybe it increases their focus on the words instead of waiting for translation for a complicated sentence or having to watch me act it out to understand.

I do a pre-teach of the words with vocab cards I make. Then we might do a line bingo game if I want to practice that grammar.

I read the book to the class using a PPT/TV and ask questions about the story as we go. Any chance we can open it up for discussion about what they think or predict is great. My kids are little so it can be limiting but I speak some Korean and I let them answer in Korean if they want so they can get engaged in the way they are able. It also shows that they are following the story up to that point and are with me.

Some stories may have warmers or supplementary multimedia materials you can find online. For example, I read "Glad Monster, Sad Monster" and I found a "guess the feelings" video with an Inside Out theme on YouTube. This was a great vocab review for emotion words and the kids really enjoyed the game with the Pixar theme. Another one I did was "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything," which had a song that went through the story at an increasing pace. It really drilled the onomatopoeia aspect of the book, which I wanted them to focus on when we did the reading and play along. Kids also like songs that get faster and that they can learn and sing along. I played the video before we did the reading and it helped a lot with getting them involved in making the sounds. "Bark George," we did the "What Does the Fox Say" song. These activities are usually my kids' favorite part.

I usually try to have them do a story sequencing activity on a worksheet as we read or after we read. Then some kind of drawing or creative activity. There are a lot of ideas you can do! Story mapping, reader's theater (you may need to adapt the story a bit to make the reading easier, and you'll have to put some thought into assigning the parts and breaking up the story), focus on rhyming/onomatopoeia/something else unique to English they might not be familiar with (I did a rhyming lesson which was the first they ever heard of rhyming and it was cool to teach something new for the first time that even my advanced students didn't already know about!).

Anyway, it may not seem like it but there is actually a lot you can do with storybooks during corona! Yes, it would be more fun to get them playing pair games and stuff but I've found that it isn't as bad as it seems.