Book Club Plus: A Conceptual Framework to Organize Literacy Instruction

CIERA Report #3-015

Taffy E. Raphael, Oakland University
Susan Florio-Ruane, Michigan State University
MariAnne George, Rochester Community Schools

CIERA Inquiry 3: Policy and Profession
How can literacy teachers teach everything that their students need to develop the foundational skills and strategies of literacy, without sacrificing a focus on higher-level thinking about substantive content and good literature? What is the impact on student learning when teachers use a literature-based reading program framework designed to address this important problem?

In this report, the authors, members of the Teachers Learning Collaborative, present the results of a three-year collaborative effort to create an innovative literacy curriculum framework that would support teachers' dual--and often competing--commitments in literacy instruction: (a) to make sure that all students have the opportunity to learn literacy skills and strategies with texts that are at their instructional level, and (b) to make sure that all students have access to, and instruction with, texts that are appropriate to their age level, even if the students are unable to read such materials without support. This report describes the result of the their efforts, the Book Club Plus instructional framework. It first details the framework's conceptual foundations and the problem that it was designed to address., before moving on to describe the implementation of Book Club Plus in a third grade classroom. The report concludes by presenting three cases, reflecting the diversity of students taking part in the program and the ways in which those students benefited from their participation in Book Club Plus and related activities.

University of Michigan School of Education

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This article was submitted to Language Arts in August of 2000, for a themed issue on organizing for instruction.