The Fireside Book Chat
Over the past week I have been exploring the podcast site, The Fireside Book Chat. It is a site which promotes books for teens. Look at the site and the first thing that catches the eye are the teens reading and the statement, “Books for Teens, Reviews by Teens.”
Teacher Scott Hertzog is the interviewer and moderator for The Fireside Book Chat. The podcast is used as a diving board to engage the students in his classroom with literature. Each podcast features one student and one book. Mr. Hertzog starts the discussions with a silly comment which generally loosens up the teen. He then asks general questions about what the reader thought of the book. The questions usually follow the same pattern.
“Why did you choose this book?”
“What was your favorite part?”
“What did you not like?”
“Would you recommend this book?”
“How would you rate this book?”
Mr. Hertzog may begin the discussions, but the students are in charge. They choose what they read and that is the key to developing a love of literature. When you provide opportunities for people to choose and then openly participate in positive dialogue about what interests them, the results create engaged readers and critical thinkers.