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Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: Nurturing a Powerful Culture of Reading in Our Digital and Physical Classrooms

Presented By Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen

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Date and Time

Four, 75-minute webinar sessions from 5:00pm to 6:15pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Thursday, March 4, 2021
  • Thursday, March 11, 2021
  • Thursday, March 18, 2021
  • Thursday, March 25, 2021

Please note that this webinar series is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


Are your students journeying through reading as though they were commuters, not explorers? Have you had book clubs fade or fizzle in your classroom? Or perhaps you've avoided book clubs altogether, unsure about the benefits of students taking on such an endeavor.

In this four-part webinar series, Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen share their research and experienced vision about the power of book clubs. Participants will oscillate between being teachers in this space as well as members of a book club to live this experience through the eyes of students. Sonja and Dana address ways to create a culture of reading through book clubs that extends throughout the year, how to get book clubs up and going, and strategies to support and deepen student discussion and comprehension of texts. They will demonstrate the power and purpose of book clubs to help students delve deeply into issues related to equity and justice. And in this digital landscape, Sonja and Dana provide the best tips and tech for virtual book clubs.

This webinar series, presented by the coauthors of Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers, is chock-full of their best tips for bringing joy and depth to student-led, blended-learning book clubs. Whether you are looking to breathe new life into book clubs or to begin implementing them in your classroom, this webinar series will give you the insights and practical guidance needed for success.

Learning Objectives


Why book clubs? Organizing and setting up clubs. Clarifying roles of teacher and students in book clubs.

  • Research on reading and book clubs
  • Types of book clubs
  • Getting the books
  • Organizing students into clubs
  • Understanding teacher and student roles


Getting clubs up and going. Helping clubs develop identities. Teaching into talk.

  • Setting up clubs that work
  • Cultivating club communities
  • Observation and coaching tips
  • Realistic expectations for talk
  • Best digital tools for deepening talk


Reading the word and the world. Supporting students as change makers who read to forge an antiracist future.

  • Pitfalls and pathways: strengthening reading comprehension
  • Building critical literacy strategies
  • Own voice authors
  • Choosing texts as a form of activism
  • Identifying sociocultural issues in texts and in the world


Studying and coaching into clubs. Taking a blended-learning, inquiry-based approach.

  • Applying reflection strategies
  • Using data to inform coaching in clubs
  • Assessing book clubs
  • Culminating book club work
  • Setting goals for future book clubs

About the Presenters

Dana Johansen has taught elementary and middle school for more than fifteen years. Dedicated to the ever-expanding applications of technology in the classroom, she presents at national conferences on the use of blogs, digital texts, and flipped learning in literacy instruction. She is the coauthor, with Sonja Cherry-Paul, of the titles Breathing New Life into Book Clubs; Flip Your Writing Workshop; and Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning. Follow her on Twitter: @LitLearnAct.

Sonja Cherry-Paul is the director of diversity and equity at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as well as the cofounder and cofacilitator of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy. Dr. Cherry-Paul leads presentations at national conferences and provides professional development for educators on reading and writing instruction and equity and inclusion. Her most recent books are Critical Literacy: Unlocking Contemporary Fiction (with Mary Ehrenworth and Heather Burns), and Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning (with Dana Johansen). Follow her on Twitter: @LitLearnAct @SonjaCherryPaul.

Who Should Participate

Classroom teachers of grades 3-8, literacy coaches, reading and language arts specialists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.

Special 2021 Tuition Fee

The cost of this four-part webinar series is $125.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the webinar series recording for 60 days.

Related Book

To support your learning in this webinar, we highly recommend Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers.


Registrants will receive multiple emails from Heinemann, including enrollment confirmation, which also serves as your tuition receipt and contains some basic instructions. If you have not received your confirmation email within 48 hours of your registration, please contact us at or 800-541-2086, ext. 1151. Approximately two days prior to the event date you will receive an email with the PD event's Zoom link and log-in instructions.

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Upcoming Dates & Locations

03/04/2021-03/25/2021 - Starts March 4, 2021- 5:00-6:15pm EST

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Availability: Available When: 03/04/2021 - 03/25/2021* Where: Online

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