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Transcript of Literature Circles
in the Classroom Benefits The benefits of literature circles are that
they allow students to lead the discussions and focus on their interests. The size of the groups encourage meaningful discussions and bring in a variety of student perspectives. Allowing students to have a choice in the books they discuss and providing books for a variety of reading levels ensure that all students have and entry point. Students are also provided with the opportunity
to work with, and learn from, their class
mates and assist in developing
comprehension. What it is Literature circles are instructional approaches where students meet in small groups to read and respond to a book (otherwise known as a book club).
It is a student led discussion where they share their impressions of the story and delve into the text, allowing them to gain an understanding of
the multiple perspectives of their peers.
-Bainbridge, Heydon & Malicky, 2009 The teacher must adapt to a loss of control associated with students working from different books. Students will also require assistance choosing a book that is neither too difficult nor too easy for them. Success in this activity depends on students' time management capabilities. Also requires students to work in groups which is a skill that the younger children will not have developed efficiency in yet. The students may also begin
to pay more attention to their role in the
literature circle and less on the text. Literature circles are comprised of three main features; choice, literature
and response. Students, through their choosing of books and topics which
they have an in interest in, assume responsibility for their learning. The choices
of literature should be ones that are meaningful for the students, and have a mixture of stories with informational and instructional materials. In response, students summarize the readings, make connections, learn vocabulary, explore the use of text factors and develop understandings of story structure. The discussions they have around these concepts help them to deepen comprehension and helps students to gain different viewpoints that the other students have developed through the readings. Grade 1 (Emergent) The teacher reads the book to the
students. If the book is familiar or has predictable patterns they would be able to
read it themselves. They will be more focused on the visual representations. This can also be done with the buddy system with an older class. Using teacher guidelines, students would work in group discussions with their buddies helping to explain and expand the ideas. This can be used to help the young students get an idea for the roles involved in a literature circle as well. Having the older students work with the grade 1s will work to scaffold the process for the emergent level of literacy development. Grade 3 (Beginning) Teachers will present pre-selected books
according to student reading levels so that
they have some degree of choice. Students
take on designated roles as; discussion director, word wizard, connector, summarizer, illustrator, investigator, quiet voice monitor and record keeper. Students would need to have in their journals a list
of what each role's responsibilities are. As readers, the students would make reasonable predictions and self-correct while reading slowly, word by
word out loud. The teacher could present
guiding questions for each role to keep in
mind while doing the readings
as well. Grade 6 (Fluent) Students may bring in their own books after
sharing testimonials with the class of which of their favourite books are good for discussion. They will take part in silent reading or dramatize the text, depending on student preference. Depending on preferences, the students will choose books and form groups of 4 to 6 based on that choice. The students will be encouraged to make inferences about the literature. Roles will be chosen or designated for the group and the students will teach their group members based upon their roles. From meeting to meeting the roles will rotate so that each member has the opportunity to
work with each job once. At the end, a
representative will present the
discussion to the class. Step 1: Select Books
Step 2: Form Literature Circles
Step 3: Read the Book
Step 4: Participate in Discussion
Step 5: Teach Mini Lessons
Step 6: Share with the Class "Literature circles reflect sociolinguistic, transactive and critical theories because students work in small, supportive groups to read and discuss books, and the books they read often involve cultural and social issues that require students to think critically."
-Tompkins, 2010 Theories of Literacy Learning