Friday, May 29, 2009

The Book Club

Screaming, chatting, moving
Girls Girls Girls
talking, screaming, hugging
Girls Girls Girls
chatting, drama,
...and did I say screaming?

How Fun! A book club for girls! As long as it's not at my house and I'm not the one leading it! I can just hear the wheels in your heads turning. The wheels in my head started making me crazy turning when I went to a book club with my girls last month and immediately started thinking about how to do one myself with my older girls and their friends. And here we are. We sent out invitations and I made a phone call or two. The day of, there was much house cleaning and craft planning. I was so nervous! My husband came home early and did his usual lightening fast last minute clean up and kitchen detail while I laid everything out. By the time the 4 girls showed up, I was calm and ready! It was so much easier than I thought it would be! The girls loved it and I did too! I hope this will encourage some of you to give it a try too! Feel free to copy my ideas! That's why I'm posting them!

Here is a simple run down of what I did:
When I started the meeting, I outlined what we would be doing, reminding them we would be picking a name for a book club and a book to read, hoping to get the wheels in their crazy little heads brains to start rolling. I also assured them we would have time for crafts, snacks and to just hang out. I also introduced them to the idea of signing up for the book clubs around town where you get a free book after filling out a sheet saying you've read so many books. I even had gotten the forms earlier in the week!

The get to know you game:
I took out a roll of Toilet Paper (that totally grabs their attention!) and took a few sheets then passed it to one of the girls. They all were to take "however much you think you'll need." After the TP made it back to me, I instructed them to tell me something about themselves, one fact for every sheet. I played too, as if I were back way back when I was a 4th or 5th grader! The girls had so much to say, they all kept tearing their sheets into more pieces to be able to talk more! It was great! I let them keep going (and I was worried some of them wouldn't think of anything to say...) until they had gotten everything out they wanted to (no pun intended)!

Name the club
I had looked up a few suggestions on-line to get the ball rolling, then I wrote down every suggestion they said. They were laughing sooooo much, I wanted to have giggles in the name (my suggestion was GAB Giggles and Books) but the top two choices were Got Books? and Secret Agent Readers. We voted and it was tie. We voted again and it was another tie (I didn't vote, I didn't want to "take sides"). During snacks we called in the reinforcements and the little sisters came in to vote... and it was another tie! So we did the draw-a-name-out-of-the-hat trick and the name is.... Got Books? A snack of brownies and strawberries soothed the disappointed ones!

What book to read?
Deciding on what book to read literally kept me up at night. After cruising the school's website I came across THIS website for Bluebonnet books! While the girls were working on their craft (bookmarks... stay tuned! I will write about those this weekend...) they took turns with a buddy and read through the summaries. They all wanted the same two books, so the last group was the tie breaker (or I would've gotten out the hat again!) and decided on the book Maybelle and the Soup. I think we will read the other book next! While the girls were finishing crafts, I had pre-written a note (email info, best dates/times, ideas...) to the parents and put in the info (book club name, the next book and other books we will read) and printed them so it would all be ready for the girls to take home. We finished early (since we didn't have a book to discuss) and I pulled out my just-in-case activity. While needlessly looking up random stuff researching book club stuff I came across a contest for writing a short poem. I read an excerpt and we talked about the contest. Hopefully some of the girls will be inspired to write. I have always said reading and writing go hand in hand, so I am excited to have a way to incorporate both into the club! Plus, it's always great to have a back-up time-filler! That still left the girls with half an hour to hang out... ride scooters outside... find a quiet place to share secrets... play!
I really enjoyed talking to the moms when they picked up the girls! I think Got Books? was a huge success!


nuckingfutsmama said...

What a great idea! I think it's so important for girls to have a group to be a part of -- some place where they can feel like their opinions matter. My daughter is only in kindergarten right now, but this sounds like one of those ideas I'll store in my head for later use! When she gets older, I'd love to start something like this for her and her little friends. Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

Kristie said...

So glad it went so well! I linked to this page from my blog.