Newton Country Day Middle School students engaged in end-of-year Skype Book Club conversations with a popular author and with their London counterparts.
Fifth and sixth grade students are diving into Heather Vogel Frederick’s Mother Daughter Book Club series. Some students created a book trailer project about the series for the school’s website as part of their Library class. In May, the Library class of fifth and sixth graders chatted with Frederick via Skype, asking such questions as, “which of the girls in the book series is your favorite and why?” and “when you were our age what did you like to read?” Another student asked, “I like to write, do you have any tips on being a writer?” The girls were treated to childhood anecdotes about dances, first publishing moments, and a personal tour of Frederick’s writing studio. To their delight, they also learned that she has one final book in the series to be published in the fall.
A few weeks later, the sixth graders continued a Sacred Heart international Network exchange started last year, also via Skype. Newton Country Day Librarian Ms. Rebecca Kinney and Sacred Heart London (1893) Librarian Hannah Furse created a collaborative sixth grade Book Club project with The London Eye Mystery, a contemporary mystery set around the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. During the weeks that their Library classes focused on book discussions, students on both sides of the Atlantic also wrote letters to introduce themselves to their Sacred Heart peers. This built excitement for their Skype session.
Having prepared questions about the book and sixth grade life, the girls gathered in their respective libraries to meet their pen pals. Speaking into the computer microphone, each student introduced herself and called out her pen pal’s name. After a few face-to-face questions exchanged about the book and comments about their correspondence, the students asked about each school’s Conge, tried each other’s accent, and talked about summer plans – answers that often generated cheers and applause from the sixth graders on the other side of the Atlantic.
Library sessions utilizing Skype sessions teach the young students how to prepare good questions for conversations and excite them to read and learn more about their world.
View pictures of Sixth Graders Skype with Book Club.