Jennifer Knaack

Junior English students read two whole-class texts each semester, but they also have a small-group experience where they choose their text. Book collaboration groups meet to discuss their books four times during the unit. This allows students to discuss the books in small groups of four to six. This helps build discussion skills by allowing students who might not feel comfortable to contribute in a whole-class environment.

Each book group is centered on a particular style of writing, and students vote to choose which book they would prefer to read. This challenges students to read books that might not be something they would ordinarily read and to try new styles of writing. This challenge builds reading skills and each student’s ability to communicate academically with their peers. Hopefully, this inspires students to try new styles of books and to be lifelong readers.