Book Clubs in Middle and High School Institute: The Art of Engaging Teens with Close Reading of Fiction, Nonfiction Research, and Literary Conversations Grades 6-8 and 9-12

Monday, November 12 - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Featuring: Mary Ehrenworth, Audra Robb , Emily Strang-Campbell, Katy Wischow , and Pablo Wolfe with Cornelius Minor and Sonja Cherry-Paul

This institute is for ELA and social studies teachers

Book clubs are the perfect forum for harnessing the social energy of adolescents while motivating them to read closely, to write about their reading with more authenticity, and to talk about books with increased focus and zeal. This institute is for middle and high school teachers who want their students to be more powerful readers and lovers of literature, as well as adept researchers. The institute will explore historical fiction and nonfiction research, and many teachers like to attend in ELA and social studies pairs.

If you wish your students read more closely, or want them to understand the power of annotation, or you hope to develop their literary discourse, this institute is for you. If you wish your students were more adept at immersing themselves in nonfiction research, and making connections between literature and history, this institute is for you.

There will be sections for high school teachers and sections for middle school teachers, so that whether you teach AP literature or teach sixth grade book clubs, you can be with your colleagues. This year, there will be an advanced section for teachers who have attended this or other TCR WP reading institutes. In this section, you’ll dive into a new genre, literary nonfiction.

Come ready to read, practice instructional methods, and work on coaching students from the sidelines. At this institute, you’ll be in a book club yourself, you’ll experience ways to lift the level of students’ reading practices, and you’ll rehearse instruction to take back to your classroom. As part of this, you’ll discover how to structure intense, productive book clubs. You’ll think through the major skills of reading and how you can help students synthesize, analyze complex characters and places, discern themes and how they are developed, and become alert to author’s craft. Then, too, you’ll learn how to teach into talk itself, to consider potential roadblocks: the quiet club member, the talk-hog, the club that’s done in two minutes. For each scenario, you’ll learn coaching and conferring tips to shift the club into higher gear.

Part of the work of the institute will be to consider the role of writing about reading, from annotation, to reading notebooks, to more formal literary essays and other genres that develop analytical skills. You’ll learn how to use clubs to give kids reasons to write, and how to use skill progressions to help students raise the level of their writing about reading.

Join us to turn book clubs, reading, and social bonds around reading into a force that may change students’ reading lives forever.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY