Literature CirclesMarian Staley & Marjorie BalinWelcome to our workshopGet ready for some fun and learning today!
Teacher Role • Facilitate • Circulate • Evaluate After laying the groundwork, teacher stays in the background as a facilitator.
Student Roles • Discussion Director • Literary Luminary • Illustrator/Mapper • Word Wizard • Connector • Investigator
Discussion Director • Develops 2-3 discussion questions. Takes on more of a leadership role in the group. • Sample questions and question starters are provided to the students. See packet for example. • As students gain confidence, they will be able to develop their own discussion questions.
Literary Luminary • Select text to be read aloud • Can be a quote or a paragraph • Luminary can read the section themselves or ask others to read aloud. • Reader’s Theater is an option. • Select text that is thought-provoking, humorous, controversial, poetic, confusing, unusual, important, interesting.
Illustrator/Mapper • Create illustration or graphic organizer related to the text. • Illustrator shows picture and allows group to guess the connection to the story and to elicit discussion. • Only after group is finished does Illustrator explain the importance of the picture and its connection to the story.
Word Wizard • Select unfamiliar, challenging, enriching, unusual, or interesting words. • Use context-clues to guess the meaning. • Look up dictionary definition. • Make sure word meanings can be expressed in students’ own words. • Share and discuss with group.
Connector • Make connections between the text (characters, setting, conflicts, etc.) and … • Happenings at school • Life outside school • Similar events of another time or place. • Other people or problems • Another book • Events in the news
Investigator Find background information on any topic related to the text. • Geography/culture of the setting • History of the time period • Background on the author • Music, objects, or word derivation Investigator keeps a record of where they looked for information and whether or not they were successful.
Most Common Roles • Discussion Director • Illustrator • Literary Luminary • Word Wizard
Role Tips • Investigator and Connector can be supplementary roles • If there are more than four students in a group • Or combine roles with Literary Luminary or Illustrator if they finish quickly
Suggested Sequence Introduction & Practice Roles • First-through poetry reading • Next-through short stories • Move on to whole class novel • Finally, small groups reading variety of books Grouping Method Options • Random: students can pick numbers or use grouping cards to develop groups. • Teacher-Directed: teacher may choose group members based on observation. Examples: mixed or similar abilities, personality, etc. • Student-Choice: students choose groups by filling out a wish-list card, encourage good choices • Book-Selection: students are grouped by reading interest. Students complete a Choice Sheet where they state the novels in order of preference and groups of similar interests are formed.
Provide students with . . . • Laminated role cards with clear directions on how to carry out the role to reference on a continuous basis. • Response Journals/packets for recording responses, which will be graded. • An organizational form on which to record meeting dates and reading & role assignments • ‘Rules for Discussion’ handout.
Evaluation • Teacher created rubric for Response Journals or Packet • Teacher observation form for each group • Student Self-Evaluation Rubric • Peer Evaluation Rubric • Group Participation Record • Evaluation of Discussion *Use forms at your discretion and modify as needed.
Parental Involvement • Send home a letter or create a post on classroom website explaining your literature circles, deadlines, student responsibilities. • Provide links to more information on Literature Circles. • Post evaluation criteria and PA standards. • Invite parents in to assist in literature circles activities, see story skit performances, attend wax museum, view extension projects on display, etc.