I have an elementary school in West Virginia that did a book study of my boys book, Hear our Cry: Boys in Crisis, last spring. Following a recent boys presentation I did, I was asked if I would be willing to join a group of teachers in a discussion of Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, a book about boys that I reference in my book. I joined the group and found that they have an innovative approach: When they do a book study, they do it through wikis. The principal leads the discussion by chapter, providing a summary of the focus of the chapter, and then follows that with some broad, open-ended questions. Teachers are free to offer remarks at their leisure. I got an e-mail inviting me to join recent discussions of a chapter. The interactions have been very good. As a consultant I get information about specific students they are dealing with, as well as teachers’ perceptions and opinions.
For those of you doing book studies with your students, especially those having a hard time educating boys, I suggest that you try using wikis as a possible format to keep today’s students engaged. This is also a great way for some students who are reluctant (the shy learners) to participate in the classroom discussion and share their ideas. In my experience the wiki is a great avenue for the discussion. Wikis can also be used for follow-up discussion off-campus if you do a more traditional book study in class. Invite an aha! Process consultant to become a member of your group wiki today!