I know this is probably the strangest book to love when there are so many quality novels being published every week.
Yes, Weird Wolf.
When I taught in the classroom I read it aloud each year. When my dad was going to be a camp counselor for a summer session and was faced with a small group of young boys in a tent (a challenge as he raised a pair of girls) I said, “Weird Wolf is your answer.”
It’s like chicken soup.
Weird Wolf is the story of Harry Walpole, third grader, who is suddenly faced with the fact that he is a werewolf at the full moon. He has a sudden urge for McDonald’s hamburgers and my students love it when he wakes up in the dumpster.
It’s short and fantastic. I have wanted to read it aloud since becoming a librarian, but sadly, reading aloud chapter books is one of the two things I miss from the classroom. I just don’t get the opportunity to read aloud something that is longer.
When my wonderful new friends @booksandbytes and @classicsixbooks mentioned their Lunch Bunch Book Clubs I was really curious. I have wanted to try this for two years, but because I was running intervention reading groups twice a day, I didn’t have the flexibility to be available during students’ lunch times.
This year I don’t have the responsibility of reading groups so I am suddenly more available for the flexibly scheduled projects I’ve always wanted to do! Time for Lunch Bunches!
I sent teachers a PowerPoint slide to display for their class with a cover of the book, brief description, and the two rules I have for students during this time: Don’t Spill! and Listen to the Story! I told them I would kick them out of the club if they *interrupted me. I was invited into classroooms to book talk the story. I scheduled two classes for Mon/Wed and two for Tues/Thurs for 3 weeks. All of the students wanted to participate! In 6 sessions I should be able to read the entire 14-chapter book.
The first classes came in last week. I admit I was a little nervous. What if someone walked in and said, “what are you doing?!” The students were allowed to talk and eat for the first ten minutes. Then I started reading. A teacher walked in. I looked over and walked toward her with my camera. I didn’t want to stop reading the story to take pictures of the event, but I wanted a record!
Five minutes before the end of lunch for the first class I stopped reading and directed them to clean up and head back to the cafeteria. The second class gets table-wiping privileges.
After all 51 students had left the teacher came back out of her office. “Wow! They were so engaged!”
I was happy-dancing. Seriously!
- I bought a carpet sweeper at Home Depot. There are going to be crumbs and the students should be able to clean up for themselves. I know I’ll be glad to have one as I do this more often. It’s just a great tool to have around.
- I am assembling and “I forgot my…” bucket with napkins, spoons, straws, and ketchup to keep on hand.
- If you have a reading area, but a larger area for seating, encourage the first-arrivers to sit around the outside edge. When it’s time to read the story they’ll be done lunch and can come closer to sit on the floor
- Have a lot of fun!
I can’t tell you how excited I am to do this! The kids are stopping me in the hallways, “Is today our day?” “I’m so excited tomorrow is Book Club!”
Which brings me back to my opening. It’s not the best book ever written. But I’m helping my students build a relationship with literacy and with the library. It’s my number one purpose. Their smiles make me smile.
I love my job!
*Exceptions: Bleeding, Death, Fire or Vomit