Our lower elementary-level book clubs foster an enjoyment of reading while strengthening students’ reading skills. At this beginning level, we focus on vocabulary and understanding. Students often perform an activity in class that is connected to what they read in order to help them better understand the book or its characters. Students will also get feedback on their comprehension and vocabulary homework in class.
Through the use of popular picture books by award-winning authors and illustrators, students are exposed to a wide variety of fun and interesting characters getting themselves in and out of all kinds of situations. The pictures help to feed their imaginations and take them to new places.
These stories are a little longer than traditional picture books and encourage students to work up to longer texts. They continue with the same kinds of great lessons and morals learned in our earlier Aesop’s Fables Picture Books.
Our upper elementary-level book clubs increase reading comprehension, broaden students' vocabulary, and help our students begin a life-long habit of reading. Students read interesting novels and, in addition to understanding what is happening in each book, students begin to look at why things happen. The whole class will engage in discussions about the novel and its characters while reviewing comprehension and vocabulary homework.
The work of authors such as the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christen Andersen is most notably remembered through Disney’s classic animated films. At Optimus, we want our students to know where all these fantastic stories originated from. We have created adaptations that are appropriate for younger students, so parents need not worry about the darker elements of the original classics. Through these stories, our students will not only improve their academic skills, but they will also have fun making comparisons between the original stories and some of their favorite Disney movies!
In these upper elementary grades, learning how to navigate non-fiction text can be just as important as the comprehension skills learned from reading fiction works. But, non-fiction writing can often be boring for students. We created the Biography reading option especially for those students. At this age, students can benefit greatly from familiarizing themselves with some of the most popular figures in history. We’ve chosen Americans with some very interesting and impressive back stories.
Not only do we strive to improve reading comprehension in our students, but we also encourage the development of their imaginations. Through one of our most unique classes yet, we offer Greek and Roman mythology that will help them explore the ancient stories of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses and the vivid places they lived.
Once students have built a foundation by reading selections curated by our teachers, students are then encouraged to begin making their own choices of novels to read in a group Book Club class. Students will learn new vocabulary specified to their book and take vocabulary quizzes to test their understanding. The class will also discuss a variety of comprehension questions about what they have read.
Our junior high and high school students often read the classics of the Western canon, including many challenging novels. Junior high students get prepared for the level of vocabulary and comprehension that will be expected of them in high school, while high school students focus on SAT level vocabulary and comprehension skills. There is also a shift in focus to more critical thinking questions. Students complete comprehension and vocabulary homework and are held to a high standard.