Book Clubs and Baby Literary Essay Institute Grade 3

Thursday December, 13 - Saturday, December 15, 2018

Grade: 3
Featuring: Hannah Kolbo, Heather Reed, Alexis Czeterko, and Katie Clements

The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project is thrilled to offer the first ever Book Clubs and Baby Literary Essay institute, targeted especially for Grade 3. This institute will focus on two critical units of study in third grade that lay the groundwork for the fiction reading, book club talk, and essay writing students will do in the years to come.

Part of each day will focus on the reading work students do in book clubs. Third graders are new to same-text clubs but not to reading partnerships, so you’ll learn ways to scaffold students’ early book club experiences that build on their partnership experiences. You’ll get tips for how to help kids maintain their reading volume, write about their reading in ways that fuel their conversations, and strengthen their talk. You’ ll learn ways you can harness read aloud time to prepare students for especially rich book club work.

You’ ll also spend time each day exploring baby literary essay . You’ ll study exemplars to gain a clearer sense of what baby literary essays are—and what they aren’t—so you can prioritize your teaching. Presenters will coach you as you develop your own demonstration writing, helping you craft essays at different levels that can serve as mentor texts. You’ll explore techniques that help all students engage in this work, without the need for graphic organizers. As part of this, presenters will engage you in a supportive boot camp where you craft writing off of a shared text, and you’ll learn high-leverage moves to coach kids’ oral rehearsal that also lift the level of their writing. Similarly, you’ll hear about ways debate and argument work can infuse into the reading and writing units. You’ll engage in heated flash debates with your book club, and then you’ll use those debates to fuel your own writing.

As students craft baby literary essays, they’ll write about characters and themes in their book. When students struggle to develop claims and support them with evidence, it’s often a reading issue, not a writing one. You’ll learn about the on-the-run assessments that give you a window into your students’ needs, as well as the essential reading work that helps students think deeply about traits, story arcs, and lessons/themes in their books. You’ll try out a few high- leverage conferences that target students who need more foundational support.

There will be a special emphasis on the reciprocity between these reading and writing units. You’ll examine how the texts you and the students read can transfer seamlessly from reading to writing, and learn how you can help students write literary essays off of a variety of texts: picture books and short stories, book club books, narrative nonfiction texts, even videos.

Expect to leave this institute ready to tackle these two critical units in a way that positions your third graders for success in the future!


$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