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Making Literature Circles Come Alive


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Making Literature Circles Come Alive

  1. 1. Making Literature Circles Come Alive Kelly Gardner PARATESOL 2009
  2. 2. My Background
  3. 3. What are literature circles?  Book Clubs  Students meet in groups regularly to talk about a book they have read.
  4. 4. Literature Circles are...  Reader response centered  Part of a balanced literacy program  Groups formed by book choice  Structured for student independence, responsibility, and ownership  Guided primarily by student insights and questions  Intended as a context in which to apply reading and writing skills  Flexible and fluid; never look the same twice  From Getting Started with Literature Circles by Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson © 1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  5. 5. Literature Circles are not...  Teacher and text centered  The entire reading curriculum  Teacher-assigned groups formed solely by ability  Unstructured, uncontrolled "talk time" without accountability  Guided primarily by teacher- or curriculum- based questions  From Getting Started with Literature Circles by Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson © 1999 Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  6. 6. Why use literature circles in your classroom?  It provides opportunities to read, write, speak, and listen.  Students interact in groups and are held accountable for individual roles.  They are student directed.  They are engaging.
  7. 7. Literature Circle Roles and Structure  Roles  Discussion Director (questioner)‫‏‬  Literary Luminary  Vocabulary Enricher  Summarizer  Connector  Illustrator  Adapted from Harvey Daniels
  8. 8. Discussion Director  This role is designed to promote discussion and to ask higher level questions about the text.
  9. 9. Literary Luminary  This role is designed to get students to choose passages from the text. They may choose them because they´re...  interesting  funny  confusing  important
  10. 10. Vocabulary Enricher  The vocabulary enricher´s role is to choose difficult words from the text and find out what they mean. They then explain the meaning to the rest of the group.
  11. 11. Summarizer  The summarizer´s role is to choose the most important events that occurred in the passage. These are shared with the group and other group members add their ideas.
  12. 12. Connector  The connector relates things that occur in the passage with his or her life, the real world, or another book read or movie seen.
  13. 13. Illustrator  The illustrator´s job is to draw something from the passage that caught his or her attention. The image is then shared with the group and other members guess what is happening in the picture and discuss this part of the passage.
  14. 14. Challenges of Managing Literature Circles  Developing an understanding of roles  Teaching students to work in groups  Helping students stay organized  Maintaining and English environment  Making sure students do the reading  Keeping the conversation going
  15. 15. Addressing Challenges  Developing an understanding of roles  Practice, practice, practice  Teacher guides students through the process  Student volunteers have conversations in a “fish bowl”
  16. 16. Addressing Challeges  Teaching students to work in groups  Establishing what good groupwork looks like  Good conversations vs. Bad conversations  Developing Clear Expectations  Modelling by teacher  Modellng by students  Evaluation of mock conversations  Self and group evaluations after each conversation.
  17. 17. Addressing Challeges  Helping Students Stay Organized  Keep role sheets, meeting calendar, notes, and self evaluations in a folder that stays with the teacher  Spend time at the beginning determining students roles, pages to be read before each meeting, and meeting dates.
  18. 18. Addressing Challeges  Maintaining and English Environment  Establish the expectation of English when setting up groupwork expectations  Hold students accountable for English speech  Video camera  Fish bowl  Teacher observations
  19. 19. Addressing Challeges  Making sure students read  Create time for reading in class  Choose books that are at students´ independent reading level
  20. 20. Addressing Challenges  Keeping the conversation going  Give students conversation sentence starters,  In my opinion..  One connection I made...  I agree/ disagree...  What do you think, _______?  Etc.  Establish the expectation of keeping the conversation going.  Practice commenting on other group members ideas.
  21. 21. Useful Links  Literature Circle Resource Center   Literature Circles: Getting Started asp?id=19  Literature Circle Roles terature_circles/
  22. 22. Resources  Daniels, H. (2002). Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in the Student Centered Classroom. Portland: Stenhouse Publishing.