Each day, the seniors in each classroom, our rising first graders, will spend time with the Director in what is called "Book Group". The children learn the parts of a book, such as the cover, spine, end papers, dedication page, and title page. Then the group investigates different types of stories, beginning with picture books such as The Mitten by Jan Brett, then story/picture books such as The Raft by Jim LaMarche, and finally chapter books such as The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon or James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
The books we read are carefully chosen not only for their appeal to children by for their wholesome content, beautiful language and inspiring illustrations. In addition to looking at books, talking about plots, story lines, characters and predictions, the group also works on creative and scientific projects related to what they are reading about. For example, they may make fossils when we read about dinosaurs, plant paper white bulbs when we read a garden story, create an experiment when we read about a scientist or even make model dragons once we have read a selection of dragon stories.
Book Group provides an opportunity for our older children to work together on projects and to exchange ideas with their peers. The children practice skills that they will take to first grade, such as critical thinking, debate, planning, expressing opinions, providing proof to support arguments and speaking in front of a group.