Book lovers appreciate the recommendations of other readers. My friend Nikki is an avid reader, and I often ask for her “must-read” books. She is familiar with my interests and rarely lets me down.
Children are no different. When asked how they find new books, they often mention their peers as motivators. This peer choice results in a wonderful opportunity for children to engage in critical and creative thinking based upon book choice. In flexible informal groups, children can develop discussion topics/questions to help them better understand the book such as:
- Why a character does or says something.
- Why something happens the way it does.
- The meaning of a word, phrase, or sentence.
- Connections between the book and their lives.
Peer selected books and student led discussions enable children to guide their own learning. After books are finished, new groups begin based on new selections.