Monday, December 4, 2023

Lunch Book Club: Nourishing Bodies & Minds

Every school wants to foster a love of reading in its students, but how can one more reading activity fit into an already packed educational day? Old Union Elementary Principal Jon Fike and Assistant Principal Lisa Walker found the answer – a lunchtime book club. Students come in the office during their lunch period to eat and talk about the book they are reading.

The book club at Old Union was inspired by a grant the school received from the Carroll Education Foundation called “It’s Not Just for Oprah: Book Clubs for Kids.” 

“Book Clubs are an engaging way to interact with our students in a small, relaxed setting. We eat lunch, discuss books, and build relationships,” Walker said. “The time we spend facilitating discussion is meaningful and impacts more than just reading scores.”

The students who participate agree that the book club is an opportunity to engage with peers and explore a variety of literary work.

Fourth grader, Arky Mouser said, “The book club lets me express my feelings about the book to others.”

“Book clubs are great, because I get to be with my friends, be with Mrs. Walker, but still learn,” said third grader Ellen Aughenbaugh.

There are approximately ten students at a time per book club with multiple groups per book. The girls meet with Walker and the boys meet with Fike. 

Mystery, adventure, historical fiction, and realistic fiction are some of the most popular choices among the students. For example, the third grade girl’s book club read Titanic by Gordan Korman while the fourth grade girls read Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn. Third grade boy’s book club read Infinity Ring by James Dashner while the fourth grade boys read Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret.

“Our book club is great because I get to read books that take me on an adventure,” said third grader McKenzie Cutler.

“The goal is to encourage students to love reading and share their thoughts about what they have read with their peers,” Fike said.  “It’s a great way to promote literacy and show students that reading can be fun.”

Old Union Book Club Recommendations:

  • Swindle by Gordan Korman
  • Get Rich Quick Club by Dan Gutman
  • The Word Eater by Mary Amato
  • Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato
  • The New Kid at School by Kate McMullan
  • Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Swipe a Bully’s Bear By Katherine Applegate
  • Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Glue your Friends to Chairs By Katherine Applegate
  • Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret
  • Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow
  • Someone Named Eva by Joan Wolf
  • Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Chasing the Falconers On the Run series book 1 by Gordon Korman
  • The Shadows: The Book of Elsewhere series book 1 by Jacqueline West
  • The Infinity Ring Book 1 by James Dashner
  • Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
  • Unsinkable (Titanic Series #1) by Gordan Korman
  • The River by Gary Paulsen

Old Union Elementary’s Lunch Book Club is just one of the unique learning opportunities created by Carroll ISD educators to foster a life long love of reading in students. Throughout the 2012-13 school year the district has embraced this year’s academic theme: “Once Upon a Dragon” which emphasizes literacy. Click here to read more “Once Upon a Dragon” stories from other Carroll ISD campuses.