Book Clubs in First Grade

February 12, 2016

Book clubs in first grade?!
It may seem like a stretch, but the Spring is such a great time to get your students ready and used to reading, thinking about, and discussing books with their peers instead of me, the teacher!


When done right, it can be such a fun learning experience for both the students and the teacher. I find that I learn SO much about my students when I sit back and observe their conversations and arguments about a topic without intervening. I can see the growth socially as well as academically that my students make in a year and I can see what my students still need to work on.



When I started book clubs with my littler learners I needed a lot of guidance.  So I created a unit to share some of the resources and tricks that worked in my room!


After a week or two of running book clubs in my room, it was something that my students loved and really looked forward to. I didn’t change up my reading block, but instead just carved out 10-15 minutes of book club time towards the end!


The biggest thing we needed guidance with in 1st grade, was “what do we talk about?” It was wildly unrealistic of me to have my students – even my higher ones – just get in a group and chat about their books!


And yes… I learned that the hard way… I was way too optimistic 😉

In order to solve that problem, I made our book club rings. These cards have all sorts of discussion points and questions to help my students review what they’ve learned throughout the year and KEEP TALKING while in their groups!



Another thing I realized was that my students weren’t always prepared when they would get to their book club group. To help that situation, I created our independent reading bookmarks. I showed students how to use them to get their brains activated and ready before they went to their groups.

Once my students did get the hang of our book clubs, I would switch it up every once in a while and run book clubs more like literature circles where everyone has their own job and added responsibility. I did this with these fun little job cards:

Students would read their books and prepare their thoughts before they would meet – I also created half page recording sheets for students to complete as an added step when I saw fit.


Naturally my “high-flyers” tend to loooooove book clubs since they are reading independently very well and they like to showcase their skills. I thought a fun extension for them would be to have their own book club binders!

This was something extra that they could grab every time they got a new book and students could choose between a bunch of different recording sheets to add to their binder showcasing what they had learned. It is a fun way to track their work and all the books they have read together!

Also included in this unit are some anchor charts, lesson ideas, a teacher evaluation sheet, and more tips and tricks that have worked in my room!

To see if you could use this book club unit in your room, click on the image below and download the preview!

Pin it:

Leave A Comment - 12 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Hi there!
    Book clubs are a great idea! It's something that I'll definitely try in the future with first graders. I find it to be such a good way to motivate them to read!
    Congrats for your blog, by the way. It's my first time here and I'm reading so many of your entries, they are really interesting.
    Bye, bye from Spain!

  • Hello! I am loving this! I am wanting to do a book club for my daughter and friends. I would love to be able to download the Book Club ring and the Book Club binder. Do you have those available for download?
    Thank you!

    • Hi! I’m teaching second grade this year after 12 years of teaching first grade. I want to try some new things and I LOVE this book club idea! Are your resources available somewhere for downloading or purchasing? Thanks so much!

  • Book clubs are great! Never did one with 1st grade. Although I think its a great way to help them develop a love for Reading.

  • What are some of the books that have been successful to use in your book club?
    I have a class of 30 first graders, and I want each group to read a different book, and then have them rotate through so they have each read the book selections.

  • Hi there!
    I love your book club idea! I need some ideas for my literacy club that I run for my first & second graders during 40 minutes lunch time, once a week. I will appreciate all your ideas.
    Thank you so much!!!

  • I love these, and bought your book club set! It’s perfect for my first graders, especially my high groups. What are your favorite books for your higher readers? I want to do picture books that are also great for discussions but that can be read easily in a day (so they can practice their rereading). Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • I am thinking of starting a book club with my first graders who are remote. I think this is such a fun idea. What books have you used in first grade? Do you have any book recommendations for the beginning of the school year? Thanks for any advice!