In an age where sports, outside activities and video games seem to win the day, students at Walnut Grove Elementary School are taking an active interest in reading. Throughout the school year, Carroll ISD faculty and students have embraced the district’s “Once Upon a Dragon” theme focusing on literacy and a life long love of learning.
Just before winter break, Donna Clarrissimeaux organized a book club for her fourth grade students.
“This is a great opportunity for students to experience new kinds of genres and discuss their thoughts with their fellow peers,” Clarrissimeaux said.
Each Thursday, students get together with their respective group to talk about what they’ve read. The ‘Question King’ or ‘Queen’ asks questions to begin the discussion. The students read approximately 50 pages per week. They also are required to journal during the week. The entries should discuss their thoughts about the book, but they are also encouraged to ask questions, study the characters, and predict what’s going to happen in the book.
“Journaling has helped me understand what’s going on in the book,” Kiera DiCesare said. “It makes me think more about what’s taking place with the characters.”
While the critical thinking is a bonus, for many of the students, the club is simply about their love of reading and having fun.
“I’m a big fan of reading, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Regi Capati said. “I like studying the characters and figuring them out.”
Imaad Virani and Emma Schoof said they also like the back and forth discussions, but have their own favorite parts of the club.
“I like trying to figure out what certain passages mean and if I could put more deep thought into it,” Schoof said.
The students may not all infer the same ideas from what they’ve read, but one thing the students all agree on is that Mrs. Clarrissimeaux makes reading exciting.
“Mrs. Clarrissimeaux makes reading so much fun” Matthew Murday said. “She even did a headstand one day to get us thinking!”