Book Clubs Need Clubhouses


Build Student Engagement in Book Clubs with Clubhouses

I find that my students are more engaged and excited to participate in book club meetings when they sit in clubhouses. These cardboard clubhouses are ideal settings for club meetings because they allow each club to feel special in their own space, away from the noise of other club meetings. The house itself can also serve as a book club management tool and large graphic organizer. Since students relish opportunities to be in their clubhouses, they must follow the rules for book club or else this privilege may be revoked.

The clubhouse can serve as a management tool: “Today’s Topics,” “Topics for Next Time,” “Next Club Meeting Time,” “Calendar,” “Pages We’re Reading,” “Book Club Rules,” and “Club Talk Rules.”

It can also serve as an engagement tool: “Mailbox,” “Growing Ideas About Our Books (with flower garden),” “Quote Wall,” and “Book Advertisements.”

For accountable talk: “Ways to Stretch Conversations,” “Conversation Starters,” “Club Discussion Leader of the Day,” and “Elements of Fiction and/or Nonfiction,” can be added to the interior of the house.

5 Steps to Make a Clubhouse Using 3 Boxes

In order to make cozy spaces for book club meetings, your students can make a cardboard clubhouse out of 3 large boxes. These clubhouses are quick and simple to build, and the best part about them is that they are collapsible and can be stored in a closet when you are not teaching with book clubs.

Step 1) Get 3 large cardboard boxes- all the same size. (If you want to buy the boxes, I recommend Walmart, Target, or Uhaul. They’re approx. $2 or $3 each).

Step 2) Cut 2 of the boxes on one side only. See picture below. Lay flat. These will be the walls of the clubhouse.


Step 3) Cut 3rd box in half, creating two equal parts. See picture below. Lay flat. These will be the two roof pieces.


Step 4) Set up box pieces as shown and secure roof pieces to the sides by cutting slits.


Step 5) Decorate! I like to cover the boxes in butcher block or colored paper so they are sturdy and colorful.


Best Part: Clubhouses are collapsible and can be stored easily! When you’re not using the clubhouses, fold them up and store. Simple!