8 Book Club Activities For High School Students

Social clubs are a great way to interact with like-minded individuals and forge strong and meaningful connections. There are many types of social clubs like social service clubs, sports clubs, art clubs, music clubs, and many more. A book club is one of them.

In book clubs, everyone reads the same book and then talks about it. You know when you’ve seen a movie and chat about it with someone who’s watched it too? Book clubs are like that.

So, let’s explore some fun activities that you can incorporate into your book clubs for high school students and turn these discussions into interesting sessions. 

You might wonder if the students are already involved in reading and studying together in their classrooms, then why a separate book club for them? 

Well, these clubs can contribute so much more to the educational as well as developmental needs of students. These clubs prove to be successful in the following aspects:

  • Students will explore books beyond their academic needs.
  • It will improve reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, and literary analysis of students which will help them achieve their educational goals.
  • Beyond reading, book clubs will engage students in discussions that help them build and develop communication skills, asking questions, and sharing their thoughts and points of view.
  • Book clubs help build a sense of community by bringing students together who share a common interest in reading similar genres or books.

In addition, schools can also integrate curriculum-related topics, and themes in these reading sessions. To make it more exciting and fun, school book clubs can also leverage activities, projects, and assignments related to the books students have read in the reading sessions which will directly improve the students’ understanding and engagement with the material.

1. Character Analysis Debate

Be it a movie, series, or book, there is one or the other character that fascinates us. It can be because of their personality traits, their deeds, actions, morale, relationship with other characters, or we being able to relate to that character in any way. 

This activity is all about character analysis after all the club members have read a certain book. In this activity, everyone has to choose their favorite character from the book and talk about it in front of everyone. They can talk about anything related to that character that has caught their attention. It can be physical descriptions, lessons, motivations, etc.

The rest of the students can counter questions about that character. In simple terms, it will be a kind of debate where one student is talking about “why they like the character?” and others are talking against that character. 

While doing so, students have to use the contexts from the book which will act as evidence for their points. This will directly enhance their observation skills, public speaking, reading comprehension, advocacy, and assertiveness.

2. Book vs. Movie

Though reading books is interesting and enriching, their movie versions can not be overlooked. Movies are more captivating as they bring the characters to life and make them more visually appealing. Also, these enhance the understanding as well by utilizing the power of visual learning.

However, movies may not completely be as same as depicted in the books. This is because they are made for the purpose of entertainment and the story in the movies can be changed as per the audience. Having said that, in this activity, the club members have to decide on the book that is being adapted into movies like Harry Porter, Pride and Prejudice, etc.

After they’ve finished reading, they need to gather and discuss their point of view on how a certain scene can be portrayed or conceptualized in a movie. After which, they all can watch the movie and again discuss the effectiveness of the adaptation, any difference in their predictions, and the characterization, plot development, and thematic elements.

3. Literary Scavenger Hunt

Playing treasure hunt is a time spent well as it’s both fun and stimulates critical thinking. In this scavenger hunt, you don’t have to arrange for a place to carry out the activity. 

All you have to do is provide students with a list of items, themes, or quotes to look for while reading the book. These can include specific symbols, instances of foreshadowing, or examples of figurative language. 

After completing their reading, students can discuss their findings with the club members. The interesting part is that every question may or may not have the same answer. It depends on the understanding of the text and how different students have perceived certain things differently.

This activity will help students work on their reading comprehension skills and analytical skills.

4. Author Study

You have often observed that an individual’s personality, morals, and life background are reflected in their opinions and perspectives. Along the same lines, it can be observed in the books as well. Books are the power pack of wisdom and this wisdom comes from the knowledge and the points of view from the author’s perspectives. 

In this activity, before starting a book, students have to research about the author. Encourage students to research the author’s life, literary influences, and writing style. 

When they’re confident they know the author well, they can start reading the book. After finishing reading, students have to gather and discuss how these factors are reflected in the book, and how the author’s experiences may have shaped the story and its themes. They can share snippets from the book to explain their point. 

By doing so, they not only work on their reading comprehension skills but also learn how a person’s personality and background shape his/her views. This will also enhance their observation and analytical skills.

5. Role Reversal 

While narrating a random incident of your life to your best friend, you might have sometimes asked this question, “What would you have done if the same thing happened to you?”. This is just to understand the situation from the other’s point of view or to see the situation in a different way. 

Similarly for this activity, students have to analyze the character profiles deeply. They need to understand their physical descriptions, personality traits, motivations, beliefs,

relationships with other characters, etc. After they’ve finished reading the book, pick out a certain part of the story, and students have to portray the characters involved in that scene. 

But here’s the twist, they need to flip the characters and respond to the situation as per the style of the character to which it is being flipped. For instance, the dialogue sharing between Draco and Harry when they discovered the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library in the book “Harry Potter”. In this, Harry, according to his personality, will play the role of Draco and vice versa. 

This will be a fun activity. Other students can enjoy and give feedback.

6. What if there was a new chapter of this book?

Be it a favorite movie, series, or book, we never want it to end. We always crave more. So, how about if we can extend it by ourselves?

Sound interesting, right?

All you have to do is decide a book to read among all the members of the book club. Set a time limit to finish reading so that everyone can start the activity together. Now, as the students have finished reading, they know the storyline, theme, plot, setting, and characters. They need to start writing the extended chapter as they would like the story to move forward. 

After they’ve completed their chapters, they can gather and listen to each one by one. Every student will have a different story to share. Let them enjoy this storytelling session. This activity will help students work on their creative thinking and writing skills. 

7. New look for Book

It is a very common saying that “Never judge a book by its cover”, however, it can not be denied that book covers usually form their first impression among the readers. 

For this activity, you don’t have to decide to read a new book. Students can choose any book they have read. All they have to do is redesign the cover of the book as per their liking but has to resonate with the story or the overall theme of the book. It’s time to give a new look to their favorite book according to how they wanted it to be when they had finished reading it. 

They can do it on the paper or design it using a software. Set a time limit for the same. After everyone has completed their covers, get everyone together for a presentation. 

Every student will show their cover page and describe why they have made it like that, and what’s the intention or the motivation behind that design. Accordingly, everyone can give ratings to that design. This activity will let students express themselves creatively. This will also increase their self-awareness as they will explore themselves better.

8. Book Recommendations

Just like we have a list of web series and movies that we love and would always recommend others to watch, book lovers have a list of books they love.

In this activity, a club head can hold a session where everyone has to recommend a book for everyone to read. This book has to be the best among other books in their list. Students have to come forward one by one and talk about this book they would love to recommend to others to read.

They have to explain why they love that book, What is the thing that has captured his/her attention, What is unique about the book, and many more points. 

If there is any other students who’ve already read that particular can also join that student and share his/her insights on the same. By doing so, students can make a list of new books to read whether in personal or in book club. 

This activity will also help students with their communication and presentation skills as they choose the right words and sentences to say their points. Additionally, they will improve their recalling abilities as they revisit the book again to talk about it. 

Reading is one of the great activities to indulge in for all ages. Whether it is a newspaper, a book, an article, an analysis report, etc, One should never stop reading. Reading helps to learn and discover about different perspectives that directly challenge your thought patterns and beliefs. 

If someone wants to develop the habit of reading or want to read regularly due to their love for reading, book clubs are the best to engage in. Besides normal reading, you can incorporate the above activities to make your reading sessions interesting and enriching. So, gather together, pick a book, and immerse yourself deeply in the world of the books.

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