Literacy Learning Clubs in Grades 4-8

Engaging Students across the Disciplines

Heather Kenyon Casey

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
May 2, 2017
ISBN 9781462529940
Price: $76.00
182 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
May 3, 2017
ISBN 9781462529933
Price: $26.00 $10.00?
182 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
April 7, 2017
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $26.00
182 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $52.00 $28.60
182 Pages

Literacy learning clubs are highly motivating small-group collaborations that can improve tweens' and teens' academic achievement, support their social-emotional development, and increase their enjoyment of reading and writing. This book explains the research basis for the author's approach and offers practical instructions for implementation in English language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics classrooms, illustrated with detailed case examples. Links to the Common Core State Standards are identified, and multimodal methods and new literacies emphasized throughout. User-friendly features include end-of-chapter reflection questions and suggested activities. The Appendix provides reproducible planning forms and handouts that can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

This title is part of the Best Practices in Action Series, edited by Linda B. Gambrell and Lesley Mandel Morrow.

“Casey shows how literacy learning clubs help students develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills necessary for effective communication and participation in mutually supportive learning communities. Numerous examples illustrate how clubs operate in discipline-specific classrooms and demonstrate ways to incorporate digital tools and social media. Inservice and preservice teachers will enjoy the user-friendly 'Questions for Reflection' and the individual and collaborative 'Activities to Consider' that conclude each chapter. Most unique is the chapter on how these clubs can promote civic engagement.”

—Jill Lewis-Spector, EdD, Department of Literacy Education (Emerita), New Jersey City University; past president, International Literacy Association

“This book was a delight to read, and I am eager to apply some of the strategies in my classroom. The book should be in the hands of all teachers in grades 4–8 as they work to build students' critical literacy and learning skills and help them make sense of their world. Content-area teachers will find ways to integrate literacy into all disciplines, including classroom scenarios, research, and practical ideas for implementation.”

—Linda Biondi, MAT, MSEd, fourth-grade teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Robbinsville, New Jersey

“Provides a unique perspective on the learning needs of upper elementary and middle-grade students. Caseyaddresses the challenges of developing instructional strategies that target the learner's need for authenticity, relevancy, and collaboration while scaffolding and supporting accountable participation. This book empowers teachers to embrace the social nature of learning and bring balance to the literacy needs of students across all subject areas.”

—Laura Beth Fay, MEd, language arts teacher, Gilmore J. Fisher Middle School, Ewing, New Jersey

“This great book is a timely description of what it means for students in grades 4–8 to become members of 'the literacy club,' as renowned educator Frank Smith characterized the social nature of reading. Casey shows how to implement actual literacy clubs in real classrooms, offering the most comprehensive guide that I have seen. A 'must read' for teachers who want to make reading come alive for their students.”

—Susan Lenski, EdD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Portland State University

“Casey invites us to learn alongside her in this remarkable book. Research confirms the links between literacy, motivation, and engagement. Casey demonstrates how using the inquiry-driven model of the literacy learning club can be transformative for today's students, allowing for deeper and more meaningful learning.”

—Bev Gallagher, MEd, Princeton Day School, New Jersey

Table of Contents

I. The Research, Theory, and Pedagogy of Literacy Learning Clubs

1. Joining the Club

2. 21st-Century Membership

3. Literacy Learning Clubs in Action

II: Literacy Learning Clubs Inside the Disciplines

4. Literacy Learning Clubs in English Language Arts

5. Literacy Learning Clubs in Social Studies

6. Literacy Learning Clubs in Science

7. Literacy Learning Clubs in Mathematics

8. Literacy Learning Clubs in Special Areas

III: Literacy Learning Clubs Outside the Classroom

9. Literacy Learning Clubs for Civic Engagement

10. Literacy Learning Clubs to Support Schoolwide Literacy Efforts

Appendix. Sample Planning Guides, Forms, and Resources



About the Author

Heather Kenyon Casey, PhD, is Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, coordinates the graduate-level literacy concentration, and is Site Director of the National Writing Project. A former middle school language arts teacher and a certified reading specialist, Dr. Casey is past co-chair of the Adolescent Literacy Task Force and the Literacy Reform Task Force of the International Literacy Association (ILA). Her research focuses on the use of collaborative learning structures and new literacies to support adolescent literacy development and engagement. She has published numerous articles and book chapters in these areas and recently edited a series for the ILA, Literacy Practices That Adolescents Deserve. She has also led several grants in partnership with the National Writing Project focusing on building teacher leadership.


Classroom teachers in grades 4–8, reading specialists and coaches, special educators, school administrators, and teacher educators.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.