Chapter Chat

A Twitter Book Chat for New Zealand kids. The twitter chat is based around a chapter book which is read aloud in class.

The Twitter book chat is on every Friday at 10-10.45am. The chat is based around 10 questions which are generated from the story. Also, each week tasks are posted for the kids to complete and they share them during the chat.

Chapter Chat was originated by Stephen Baker and is currently run by Stephen and Mark Lorenzen. Stephen runs the Y5/6 version and Mark runs the Y3/4 version.

Below are classroom displays from two previous Chapter Chats:

Fish in a Tree
by Lynley Mullaly Hunt

by Louis Sacher


While taking part in observations and PLD sessions at other schools, I was introduced to a new literacy, shared reading program – Chapter Chat. I was a bit sceptical at first, especially as Twitter plays a small part in the program. But what I really liked was the shared reading of a novel with the class and then having some activities for my students to work on in relation to the chapter/s being read. Usually, I would have to think of activities for them to do, but using Chapter Chat meant I didn’t have to do any extra thinking and planning, and my students were able to share with other students around New Zealand. As for the Twitter part, we used it only a handful of times, watched other posts from other schools, but we weren’t really interested in this part of the program.
The program allowed my students to practise and apply learning strategies from another context, make connections between the text and themselves or other text, collaborate with each other as they were able to work together on some activities and begin to learn agency over their learning.

I did have a few setbacks with the program.
1. Initially, I was setting all the activities for my students and I think it was all too much for them to choose a few from. In the second book, I only provided them with 4 to choose from to complete 1.
2. Time was minimal in the class with other literacy requirements needing to be met.
3. The vocabulary task was extremely hard for my class to follow and therefore, next time I would set a particular time slot aside solely for the vocabulary and work with the class in completing the first couple of weeks worth.

Upon reflection of this experience, Chapter Chat was a very useful program. My class enjoyed the stories and I enjoyed the organisation behind it. We will be having a break from it in term 4, but we will be back on board for 2020 and my students will only need to complete one activity which will be focussed on an assessment area of reading and the vocabulary activity.