Several women have incorporated a “book club” idea into their program, as an annual summer activity, a one-time event, or even a separate group that meetings on a “off” evening (on the same night of the week, but one of the weeks where you don’t normally meet). Here are some thoughts from those who have done this activity.
Read the Same Book:
- A few months in advance, name a book that has several library copies and tell the girls you are going to discuss the book on a certain date. Be clear that they can read the book by themselves, with a parent’s help, or listen to an audio version. If you have several girls with learning disabilities, this would be best for a summer activity as the parents will be less stressed about all the school learning that needs to be done.
- Look up some discussion questions for the book online. Many of the most popular children’s books have entire lesson plans created by teachers to help you out!
- If your Relief Society has a book club, this would be an excellent opportunity to increase the sense of community in your ward, by having the adult book club read the same book as the Activity Days book club, and meet together for one big discussion! Our Relief Society’s book club frequently reads young adult books so I think it would be a hoot.
- Here are some books that other Activity Days book clubs have read together with success:
- Here are some books that haven’t been tested with an Activity Days group but are popular for the age range (and should be available from your local library):
- A girl scout troop read The Summer I Saved the World…in 65 Days and then wrote their own booklet of 65 good things they could do to help others that summer.
Read Different Books:
- Have each girl bring their favorite book and share what they like about it. (You will need to gauge whether your girls are able to sit through several other girls talking about a book they haven’t read. Hey, maybe you could combine this with a lesson on listening skills!)
- Each girl can read a different book they haven’t read before and share what their book was about.
- You could have them trade books at the end of the activity to give them something new to read. (You may want to write down who got which book so they don’t get lost!)
- If you read different books, talk about the settings of those books. Then, at the next meeting, discuss the settings of other popular books they might be interested in, and create a sign like the one below. You could ask a local library or bookstore if they would put it outside their building for a few weeks or so, to get others excited about reading.
- Talk about some literature terms with them to facilitate discussion: Genre (action/adventure, mystery, drama, fairytale, historical fiction), synopsis, plot, character, etc.
- One ward invited a sister who grew up in South America and didn’t have access to many book in English. Even though she could read Spanish, she longed for books to read in English and would ask for them for her birthday and Christmas (Nancy Drew being her favorite). When they finally moved back to the states, she couldn’t stop reading ALL the books and has loved to read ever since. Brainstorm if there is someone in your ward who can share a similarly inspiring story.
- Pair this with the Books for Africa service project for the next activity.