I had the pleasure of leading a group of first graders through their first ever book club discussion over lunch today. It was so fun! For everyone. I'm telling you, the kids were practically glowing! Over half of the entire first grade - I think I heard 55 kids - participated. They all read Ready, Freddie Science Fair Flop and wrote a short book review at home, answering just a couple of questions. Then, during our discussions today, the kids addressed several other questions. My group of four - two girls and two boys - absolutely loved it. We enjoyed talking about our most and least favorite parts of the story, picking our favorite experiment and explaining why, discussing what a hypothesis is and whether or not we could resist the urge to simply go with the rest of class if we believed the majority had the wrong hypothesis. We also talked about secret keeping, and the consequences of Freddy keeping a secret from his mother.
The book itself is sassier than I like, but it's unrealistic to think I can keep my kids in an ultra-pure, polite bubble throughout their entire lives. The author does a great job of balancing out the sass with worthwhile information about the scientific method, interesting ideas for science experiments, friendship, and even character.
The four first graders in my group headed back to class with plans to talk to their teachers about a science fair. I don't know if they can pull that off this school year, but I know we'd love it!
Who knew you could have a book club with first graders? Excellent! That was quite possibly the best lunch period Zach has ever spent at school!