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Literature Circles


This is a presentation to explain how we use Literature Circles in our classroom at Hawkesdale P12 College.

This is a presentation to explain how we use Literature Circles in our classroom at Hawkesdale P12 College.

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  • 1.
    • Independent reading
    • Teacher is facilitator or guide – not the keeper of the knowledge
    • Small groups
    • Ability based
  • 2.
    • Teacher selects groups – based on daily assessment records – students with common needs, are grouped together
    • Group size – up to 6 students
    • Kids are presented with book choices – maybe only from 2 -3 books, which have been carefully selected by teacher to match abilities of the groups.
    • Book selection can be on a theme eg. humour, friendship , sport etc. or simply great literature.
    • Students are introduced to the various roles – which they will be asked to select from each day
    • Students then make a commitment to cooperate by reading the set amount of pages each night.
  • 3.
    • Orientation to story - Once students have chosen their book by majority vote, they spend some time orientating themselves to the book, making predictions, reading the blurb, looking at chapter headings and then begin reading in class.
    • Tonight -Students then decide together, how many pages they will read that night. They must take into account both the slowest and the fastest readers and make sure it is an achievable target. Students must understand that anyone who does not read that night, lets the group down the next day when it comes to discussing the book.
  • 4.
    • Students begin the session by spending roughly 10 minutes discussing :
    • What they read last night,
    • The discussion should include things like discussing characters, making predictions for tonight’s reading, significant events etc.
    • Then select a role which they will complete that day– with the knowledge that each person will get the chance to do every role at some point during the literature circle.
  • 5.
    • There are many roles each student can take on. I usually use a selection of the following but there are many other roles you can add:
    • Word wizard - students select up to 5 interesting words, to look up in the dictionary, give the meaning of, or explain what they found interesting about it eg. unusual spelling, root word etc .
    • Connection maker - students make connections between text and text, text and self or text and the world. These connections are explained to the other students. Eg. this part reminds me of…..
    • Summariser - students summarise last night’s reading
    • Emotions Tracker – students identify emotions that the characters faced in last night’s reading
    • Poet – write about the action using some form of poetry – eg rhyming, acrostic, senses etc .
    • Map maker - draw a map of where last night’s reading took place – eg beach, school etc.
  • 6.
    • Students having a 10 minute discussion which includes reporting on the roles which were completed yesterday.
    • Students deciding how much to read tonight.
    • Students deciding on a role for them to complete that day and then working on it in class time.
    • Students who complete their role within the time, getting a start on tonight’s reading
    • Literature circles look like students working independently with a common purpose and a sense of being part of a team.
    • Most importantly, it looks like students having ownership of their own learning and having fun in the process.
  • 7. Why not have a go? Marg Murnane Hawkesdale P12 College May 2008