"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

24 June 2015

Book Club: The Odd Squad Bully Bait

My Page Turners book club (9-12 year olds) read The Odd Squad: Bully Bait as their book last month. We had a good discussion about bullying and what to do if you're being bullied or if you see someone being bullied. I also asked the kids to suggest other books that are similar in style to this one.  I was hoping they would begin to understand that some kinds of books are easy to find, like these diary-style books with drawings in them. I would consider the Origami Yoda series, the Wimpy Kid books, the Big Nate books, and a few others to be very similar to the Odd Squad series. The kids came up with some great suggestions, and I got to do some book talking and readers' advisory on the side.

Then it was time for activities. I had trouble coming up with activities that related directly to this book, so I decided to do cooperative and friendship-building activities, and this means I brought out a few board games for the kids to use. I wanted to find things like Mouse Trap, where the kids would work together to build something, but we only had one Mouse Trap game, and the other cooperative games we have are a bit to advanced for this age group. I settled on Barrel o' Monkeys, Jenga, Mouse Trap, Candy Land, and Sorry! I was hoping that the kids would have the opportunity to play a variety of games and enjoy them.  Some of the kids did indeed try every game, but the most popular game by far was Mouse Trap. None of the children had ever played, so it was fun for them to work together and build the trap. I had to stop myself from interrupting them and doing all the work, because it was good for them to learn to follow instructions and determine how to fix the trap when it didn't work.

The games were very popular, and the kids didn't mind that there was no "make it, take it" style craft involved. I won't use this method every time we have book club, but it was definitely useful this week and with this particular book.

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