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The Stinger

The Stinger

Are Book Clubs and Lit. Circles Beneficial?

Harvard Graduate School of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

My most recent book review was on Uglies by Scott Westerfield was actually a book I read for ELA. We were reading dystopian fiction literature circles. 

This was actually my first time doing literature circles. In the past, I’ve only done book clubs.

In elementary school when we did book clubs, we would get assigned a book. We’d have to read a decided amount of the book and jot down some stuff we found interesting, surprising, confusing, etc. Then we’d meet with our book clubs, talk for a while, then read some more of the book. This usually lasted a month or longer.

This year, for literature circles, I was in a group with three other students. At the beginning of the unit, we were assigned packets full of different papers we had to complete before our meetings. We had some really good discussions about our books.

In my opinion, getting to talk about the book with other students helped me understand it on a deeper level. I thought about things I probably wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. 

However, I feel like sometimes groups get distracted, which causes a lot less educational benefit to the discussions. 

One thing I disliked about literature circles was that there were a lot of things we had to do to prepare ourselves for meetings. Our English teacher assigned us a lot of homework related to our books. Some of it felt kind of pointless. 

This brings me to my conclusion. I believe that book clubs and literature circles are beneficial to students’ education because they give the rare opportunity for students to discuss what they are reading with other students. I feel like this skill is overlooked sometimes. Talking about what you read provides a deeper understanding of the book and helps you make connections to real life. However, while I believe book clubs and literature circles are beneficial, I think that teachers should not over-assign homework for them. 

So, next time you have to read a book for class, remember that it’s really beneficial to your reading skills and will help you understand what you read on a deeper level.

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About the Contributor
Abigail Abd, Writer
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald  
My name is Abigail Abd. I play trombone in the Marion Center Marching Band, along with concert band. I am also a member of the Junior High Choir. I joined the newspaper because I love writing, and think it's a good way to share my opinions.
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