the Founder and Director
International reports on the success of the Spaghetti Book Club
What kids, parents and teachers are saying...
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"The Spaghetti Book Club is unlike any other literacy or technology project I've done. It was a hit with my students, and one of the best uses of internet technology I've come across. The lessons were well planned, easy to use, and best of all, already a key part of my curriculum. Thank you! : )"
Mrs. Murphy, Handy Elementary School.
The Spaghetti Book Club web site is a place for kids who love to read and talk about books! It is the largest site of book reviews written and illustrated by kids for kids. The Spaghetti Book Club was created as a way to support and encourage kids' love for reading by giving them an opportunity to connect, on a personal level, with the books they are reading and then share their reactions, thoughts, and opinions with family members, friends, and kids around the world.
The Spaghetti Book Club Literacy Program
The Spaghetti Book Club is an innovative literacy program that integrates reading, writing, art and technology by teaching students how to write and illustrate book reviews. Much to their delight, the reviews are then published on the Spaghetti Book Club web site.
The Spaghetti Book Club helps students develop critical reading and writing skills by providing them with a meaningful context in which they learn how to think critically about the books they read; engage in reflective dialogue with teachers and peers; express their opinions and reactions in conversation and writing; and write for an intended audience. At the end of the project, it is quite a thrill for the students to see their work published on the web!
During the program, students:
- read books
- engage in book talks
- discuss the elements of a book review
- read and discuss reviews from the Spaghetti Book Club web site
- write group reviews to practice writing summaries,
opinions and recommendations
- work on their own reviews
- read their reviews for feedback from their peers
- publish their reviews on the Spaghetti Book Club website
The Curriculum: The Spaghetti Book Club offers curriculum, training and web publishing services to schools, after-school programs and libraries. The curriculum consists of standards-based lesson plans to help teachers guide their students through the process of writing and publishing book reviews. Through this process, students learn to make personal connections to what they are reading, summarize stories, construct meaning from text, express their opinions and reactions, and compare literary works.
English Language Arts Standards: Many of the English Language Arts Standards require that students are able to understand and respond to literature, including being able to analyze, compare, critique, and express reactions to literary work. The Spaghetti Book Club provides a unique way to help students meet those standards through its curriculum and publishing criteria. The Spaghetti Book Club staff reads all book reviews to ensure that they meet explicit standards-based publishing criteria.
Publishing: At the end of the project, student book reviews and illustrations are published on the Spaghetti Book Club web site. Each class or after-school group receives its own customized home page with the students' self-portraits and links to their reviews. Each student receives his/her own home page with a self-portrait and links to his/her reviews. In addition, each class receives a dedicated area in the Spaghetti Clubhouse (an online bulletin board) where students can exchange feedback and read messages posted from friends, family members and other visitors who have read their reviews.
Publishing student work on the web motivates and inspires kids to do their best work. When kids know that people around the world will be able to read their reviews, they put a lot of thought and effort into their work. When kids see their reviews and artwork on the web, many express that they feel "famous". They giggle, smile and are eager to read their own reviews and those of their friends. They often go right to the Spaghetti Clubhouse (the online bulletin board) to post messages to each other to share their thoughts and reactions to reading their friends' reviews creating an online community that exists outside of the classroom or after-school program.
This process of reading, writing, publishing, and receiving feedback from readers is what makes the Spaghetti Book Club a unique and engaging literacy program for kids, educators, and families.
Benefits to students, teachers, administrators and families: The Spaghetti Book Club helps students develop sophisticated ways of understanding, reflecting on, and connecting to what they read. By going through the process of writing book reviews, students read and reread books; engage in book talks with their classmates and teachers; and write summaries, opinions, and recommendations. By publishing on the web, students feel that their opinions and reactions are important! They know other people will be reading their reviews and write with their audience in mind. Because their reviews must meet explicit publishing criteria, kids feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when their work is published.
The Spaghetti Book Club provides teachers with an engaging literacy program that helps students develop critical reading and writing skills. The program can be implemented and built upon throughout the school year. Student home pages become portfolios of their reflections and responses to literature.
The Spaghetti Book Club provides teachers and administrators with a meaningful way to integrate technology into their classroom. It also gives teachers and administrators a way to publish student work on the web without having to create and maintain their own web site. Classes often bookmark their home page on the Spaghetti Book Club web site and make it their home page on their class computers. It is a thrill for students to see their self-portraits when they come into their classroom in the morning!Schools, districts and after school centers create links from their web sites to the Spaghetti Book Club site to show off their students' work.
Families love being able to see their child's (grandchild's, niece's, nephew's) work on the web. It's a great way for family members to feel connected to the classroom!
- the Spaghetti Book Club curriculum
- online training and support
- publishing of student book reviews and illustrations on the Spaghetti Book Club web site
- a class or group home page with students' self portraits and links to their reviews
- individual student home pages with self-portrait and links to his/her reviews
- an area in the Spaghetti Clubhouse - an online bulletin board - to receive feedback from family members and friends
If you would like to join, or would like more information, including membership fees, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did the Spaghetti Book Club get its name?
People always want to know the Spaghetti Book Club got its name. Click here to find out.
Corporate Sponsorships are available to companies interested in supporting literacy and the meaningful use of technology among elementary school children. By sponsoring a school, a company has the unique opportunity to encourage and develop children's love for reading, improve children's reading and writing skills, and see the results of their support on the web. For more information on how your company can become a corporate sponsor, please visit this page, or contact us via email or phone.
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