Prior to pandemic life, Homeschool Rocks! was holding a monthly book club for kids. We picked a book in advance, met at a local park, and I facilitated while the children discussed the book and did related art projects. It was tons of fun. So, I finally recreated a virtual book club on Zoom.
The first book we selected was Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, by Julie Sternberg
This is the first book of the series and explores the experience and feelings of a little girl, Eleanor, dealing with the loss of her babysitter and friend when she moved away.
This is a simple chapter book which is easily relatable to many kids who have ever dealt with the loss of someone. It is written in a unique poem-style format, which I found was a specific element the kids had a lot of opinions about. Additionally, I provided them with an activity booklet to complete while or after they read. We did not go page by page, but rather focused on the simile poem on the first page of the book.
We used this poems format to learn about similes. We discussed similes, sharing examples, then creating one collaboratively. I find that collaborative writing projects is an excellent way for a small group of kids to engage and for shy kids to have an opportunity to contribute. It helps them gain confidence before sending them off to complete a solo assignment, which is what we did next. They had some time to write their own simile poem, as well as an illustration. I asked them to bring fingerpaints, but any medium would have worked. At the end, they presented their work.
Our first virtual book club was a huge success, and I’m looking forward to this launching as a monthly event for us!