Virtual book clubs: Connecting students, educators and authors

Shannon McClintock Miller, innovation director for Iowa’s Van Meter Community School District and a featured speaker for FETC®, shares how her partnership with one fifth-grade class prompted middle and high school teachers to start clubs for their students
By: | May 29, 2020
Students enjoyed new virtual book clubs this spring. Authors—such as Nicole Valentine (pictured), who wrote A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity—joined their discussions online.Students enjoyed new virtual book clubs this spring. Authors—such as Nicole Valentine (pictured), who wrote A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity—joined their discussions online.
Shannon McClintock Miller is the innovation director of instructional technology and library media at Van Meter Community School in Iowa.

Shannon McClintock Miller is the innovation director of instructional technology and library media at Van Meter Community School in Iowa.

Shannon McClintock Miller is the innovation director of instructional technology and library media at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa. She is also the Future Ready Librarians spokesperson, working with librarians, educators and students around the world as an international speaker, consultant and author. McClintock Miller is a featured speaker for FETC.

At the Van Meter Community School District, McClintock Miller has continued (and grown) book advisory efforts and collection during remote learning. But she also helped form virtual book clubs to engage students at home—a program that any district may consider establishing. Her partnership with a fifth-grade class prompted middle and high school teachers to seek her help to start their own clubs for students.

Students read on their own throughout the week, and held virtual discussions via Google Meet and Zoom. McClintock Miller even signed on authors of the books they were reading to participate. For example, a fifth-grade class club included Nicole Valentine, who wrote A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity (Carolrhoda Books, 2019), and Stacy McAnulty, who wrote The Miscalculations of Lightening Girl (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2018).

The six-grade book club took its program one step further: Students created movie posters to share what they read and learned.

“Connecting with all of these authors as our students, teachers and parents read the books, really does add another layer of excitement and engagement—something that is a huge goal of mine through the book clubs and in creating lifelong readers,” says McClintock Miller. Click here to read more.


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