I started a book club for young readers last month, and we met again today to discuss our first book. We read The World According to Humphrey by Betty J.Birney, a tale told by a classroom pet hamster. Here are some of the questions we covered:
Do you think Humphrey would like being in your classroom? What would he like about it?
Humphrey thinks that the students’ names are things like Speak-Up-Sayeh, Stop-Giggling-Gail or Wait-for-the-Bell-Garth. Would Humphrey give you a name like that? What might it be?
Ms. Mac tells Humphrey, “You can learn a lot about yourself by taking care of another species." What do you think she means? Do you think this is true?
Do you talk to your pets? Do you think they can understand you?
Why is Sayeh shy about talking in class? How does Humphrey help her?
At the Halloween party everyone has to share a talent to get a treat. Some kids tell jokes or riddles, and Sayeh sings The Star-Spangled Banner. Do you have a talent you could share in a similar situation?
The girls (so far it's all girls) talked about their own animals and how smart their animals are (or sometimes not.). We told some riddles and talked about other talents that could be shared in the classroom or at a talent show. Next month our book will be Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
For refreshments we had hamster food (trail mix) and good old water to wash it down. Just like Humphrey!