Literature Circles Start to Finish Katie McKnight, Ph.D. Katie@KatherineMcKnight.com www.KatherineMcKnight.com Twitter: @LiteracyWorldFacebook: Katie McKnight Literacy
Here’s the Plan Today• Some background information about literature circles.• Getting started with literature circles in your classroom• Creating and structuring mini lessons 3
Why Literature Circles?• It is a translation of the adult reading group.• Offers a genuine and authentic reading experience.• Literature Circles are also known as book clubs, and reading groups.
Literature Circle Consistent Elements• Students choose their reading materials.• Small Groups are formed, based on student choice.• Grouping is by text choices, not by ability or other tracking.• Groups meet on a regular schedule.
Literature Circle Consistent Elements (continued)• Different groups choose and read different books.• Members write notes that help guide both their reading and their discussion.• Teacher-Led Mini Lessons should be scheduled before and after literature circle meetings.
Literature Circle Consistent Elements (continued)• The teacher does not lead any book, but acts as a facilitator, fellow reader, and observer.• Personal responses, connections, and questions are the starting point of discussion.
Literature Circle Consistent Elements (continued)• The classroom has a spirit of playfulness, sharing, and collaboration.• When books are completed, the literature circles share highlights of their reading through presentations, reviews, dramatizations, book chats and other activities.
Literature Circle Consistent Elements (continued)• New groups are formed around new reading choices and the cycle begins again.• Assessment is by teacher observation and student self- evaluation.
Why Young Adult Literature?• http://www.adlit.org/media/mediatopics/ youngadult/
Mini Lessons• All mini lessons can cover the following: – TEAM BUILDING – READING STRATEGIES – LITERARY STRATEGIES
TEAM BUILDING• Obstacles• Overcoming the Obstacles• Mini Lessons that teach social skills so that the students can collaborate in a literature circle.• How do you build classroom community?
Reading and Literary Mini LessonsStructure of anEffective Reading or Literary Mini-LessonA mini lesson provides direct, explicitinstruction for one specific teaching point.The teacher engages students in strategy witha demonstration and modeling of skill using athink aloud. The structure of an effectivemini lesson is as follows:
Reading or Literary Mini Lesson1. Connect lesson with lesson from the day before stating what will be learned and setting the purpose.2. Teach the new strategy using a mentor text and modeling with think aloud. Be very explicit and model what proficient readers do to comprehend text.
Reading Strategies• Visualize—Making pictures of mental images or sensory images as they read. Student Sample from Tuck Everlasting• Connect—The reader and experience connection. Student Sample from The Book Thief• Question—Interrogating the text.• Infer—predict, interpret, synthesize.• Evaluate—Critique and make judgments.
Reading Strategies (continued)• Analyze—Examining the author’s craft.• Recall—Retell, summarize, and remember.• Self Monitor—Using individual skill set to understand and interpret the text. Overcoming obstacles independently.
Sticky Notes• We want students to listen to the voice inside their head.• Comments, questions, connections.• Students record the “voice in the their head” on sticky notes.
• *****Teaching Kids How to Use Sticky Notes----see this lesson• Teaching Student Annotation: Constructing Meaning Through Connections• http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=1132• This lesson teaches students how to annotate text and there are some excellent guides and assessments. There are also several student annotation samples
Stop and Write• Students stop and write.• First, they should summarize, What I read”.• Second, they should reflect, What I think .(Sample Stop and Write)
Literary Letters• Reader writes letters to teacher, other readers, or friends and relatives outside of the classroom.• Provides students with the opportunity to consider their own questions, comments, and connections with another person.• Here’s a sample….
Literary Mini Lesson• Story Cubes• Story Trails• Character Biographies• Character QuestionnaireHere are some more samples…
Topics for Mini Lessons• Let’s brainstorm mini lesson topics that we want to cover in our literature circles.
Literature Circle Demonstration • http://www.ohiorc.org/adlit/video/ videoClip.aspx?clipID=3&segmentID=8
Reading Logs (In addition to mini lessons) • A reading log---What is it? • Students should write in the log every time that they read. Emphasis is on analysis and discussion. Avoid excessive summarizing. • The teacher or a student peer can respond to the reader s entries. (Sample Reading Log Entry)
Literature Circle RolesDiscussion Directorcreates questions to increase comprehensionasks who, what, why, when, where, how, and what ifVocabulary Enricherclarifies word meanings and pronunciations uses research resourcesLiterary Luminaryguides oral reading for a purposeexamines figurative language, parts of speech, and vivid descriptionsCheckerchecks for completion of assignmentsevaluates participationhelps monitor discussion for equal participationSource: Read Write Think.orghttp://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson19/lit-circle-roles.pdf
Scheduling• 2.5 weeks is PLENTY of time for the students to read the assigned book.• 5-15 minutes-introductory mini lesson• 20-30 minutes-small group activity• 5-15 minutes-sharing time and closing.• About 2-4 weeks is enough per book.• Meet about 3-6 times per 2-4 week cycle.
Monday General Class Expectations and Overview Purpose of Literature Circles Discuss Assessment and Evaluation Discuss how to select a book Students should complete the reading survey and book choices.Tuesday Mini Lesson: Think Pair Share with Reading Survey Give the students folders that will be used for their literature circles. Discussions Explain how to complete a quick writeWednesday Explain how to check in and out books Lit Circle groups should divide the book into pages for homework Discussions Mini Lesson: Explain the reading log and model HW-ReadThursday Mini Lesson: Reading Strategies: How to Fix it When I m stuck Discussion HW-ReadFriday Mini Lesson: Character Quote Discussion HW: Read
Beyond the Role SheetsLiterature Circles: Literature Circles:Original Model Differentiated• Mini Lesson Instruction• Literature Circles Meet Emphasis • Mini LessonsRoles: Connector, Director, • Learning CentersVocabulary Enricher,Illustrator McKnight, K (2009). LiteratureDaniels, H. (1994). Literature Circles: Circles in the Middle and High School Classroom. NationalVoice and Choice in the Student-Centered Classroom. Stenhouse Council of Teachers of English. Webinar presented onPublishers: York, Maine. November 4, 2009.
Literature Circle Learning Centers • Listening Station • Story Trails (These are story boards). • Student Sample • Vocabulary Detectives • Discussion, Whatcha Think? • Character Analysis • Illustration Station
Assessment and Evaluation for Literature Circles• Contract• Rubrics• Teacher Notes from Conferencing (sample Rubric)
Both of these assessment rubrics are part of the READ WRITE THINK lesson:Girls Read: Online Literature Circleshttp://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=970In generations past, women met in quilting circles to share their dreams; today’sgirls share their thoughts in virtual communities. Multicultural literature with strongfemale protagonists serves as the focus for e-mail exchanges and classroomdiscussions in this lesson. Students select and read one of five novels presented bythe teacher, and discuss the novel in exchanges with e-mail pen pals and inclassroom literature circles. Students then participate in an online literacycommunity where they can respond to questions and post reviews, allowing them toexpand their perspectives and converse with a wider audience.This is a student self-assessment for Literature Circles:http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson970/self.pdfHere is a teacher self-assessment:http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson970/teacher.pdf
Another variation of Literature Circlesfrom READ WRITE THINKhttp://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=877Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crewhttp://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=877Students interact with a range of different kinds of texts in the classroom, butfor many, films and movies are the favorite. Because of their interest in thefilms, projects related to these movie texts often result in a higher level ofengagement. Capture this enthusiasm, and transfer it to reading andliterature by substituting film production roles for the traditional literaturecircle roles. After reviewing film production roles—such as director, castingdirector, and set designer—students work together in cooperative groups toread and discuss a piece of literature, each assuming a film production role.
Response Chart for Literature Circleshttp://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson1136/responsechart.pdfStudent Sample Response Chart forLiterature Circleshttp://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson1136/SampleResponses.pdf
I also recommendDaniels, H. & Steineke, N. (2003). Mini-Lessons forLiterature Circles. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Looking for Books?http://www.alan-ya.orgThe Assembly on Literature for Adolescents is anindependent assembly of NCTE. Founded in November1973, ALAN is made up of teachers, authors, librarians,publishers, teacher-educators and their students, andothers who are particularly interested in the area ofyoung adult literature. ALAN, which is self-governing,holds its annual meetings during the NCTE annualconvention in November and also publishes The ALANReview.The website features authors and titles for adolescentreaders. The books are reviewed monthly.
How to Reach Me• Email: Katie@KatherineMcKnight.com• Website: www.KatherineMcKnight.com• Twitter: @literacyworld• Facebook: Katie McKnight LiteracyFor more materials and updated powerpoint, seemy blog at www.KatherineMcKnight.comand http://goo.gl/J242X for additional materials. 42
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