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Literature Circles

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marissa katz

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of Literature Circles

Literature Circles
Students will be able to comprehend the multiple roles of literature circles.
Students will be able to succesfully collaborate their ideas with peers in group discussions.
4 Roles of a Literature Circle :
1) Discussion Director
2) Creative Connector
3) Stupendous Summarizer
4) Word Wizard
Job of the Discussion Director:
To develop a list of questions (minimum of 3) that you believe your reading group might want to discuss. Some great questions can come from your own feelings and wonderings.
Job of the Creative Connector:
To help the group to make connections to: From text to text, text to world, and text to self.
What is a Literature Circle?
"In literature circles, small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students' response to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author's craft, or personal experiences related to the story. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. Students reshape and add onto their understanding as they construct meaning with other readers. Finally, literature circles guide students to deeper understanding of what they read through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response."

Job of the Stupendous Summarizer:
To summarize the important parts of what they read. Your job during the group discussion is to write down the key points of the literature circle.
How to Group Students for Literature Circles

• At first many teachers may want to group students based on behavior and how well they will work with one another although this is very important, there are other important factors that a teacher should consider.

• It is shown that literature circles may work best when students are grouped heterogeneously or in a diverse/varied/mixed group of learners.

• Groups should include all types of learners, visual, tactile or kinesthetic, and auditory, as well as children who may be all three types, and finally a child who may have special needs.

• In some classrooms or if the teacher feels it is necessary the teacher may want to group the students homogeneously based on different learners or abilities.

• Each member of the group has a different role or responsibility and the groups change once a new book is started.

How to Assess Through Literature Circles

• Most if not all teachers will first and foremost
access students through teacher observations
throughout the duration of the literature circle.

• Some teachers may want to have students
complete a self-assessment after the completion
of their literature circles.

• If the teacher has time they may want to meet
individually one-on-one with students and discuss
their literature circle.

• Another way to access students during literature
circles is through a written response or journal

Special Education

One way a teacher may implement literature circles for students with special needs is through the teacher’s choice in books or allowing the students to choose their book.

• If the teacher knows one of her students likes a certain book type or theme she may want to choose one of these books for the literature circle or allow the student’s group to use the specific book.

• This may allow students who normal do not participate in class discussions or any class or group work, to be very eager and interested in expressing their own opinions and ideas.

• It has been shown that once struggling readers have the book in their heads they have plenty to say in a discussion just as much as another student might have.

(The Literature Circle:Are Literature Circles on Your IEP? (2005). Retrieved November, 2014, from http://www.csun.edu/~krowlands/Content/ Academic_Resources/Literature/Instructional Strategies/Daniels-LitCircles-iep.pdf)

10 Essential Elements of Effective Reading Comprehension

1) Build disciplinary and world knowledge
2) Provide exposure to a volume and range of texts
3) Provide motivating texts and contexts for reading
4) Teach Strategies for comprehending
5) Teach Text Structures
6) Engage students in discussion
7) Build vocabulary and language knowledge
8) Integrate reading and writing
9) Observe and assess
10) Differentiate instruction

Based off of the text “Essential Elements of Fostering and Teaching
Reading Comprehension”by Nell K.Duke who is a contemporary
educator and literary researcher.

Why are Literature Circles Important?

Literature circles are important
because they provide cooperative learning,
they allow for students to make choices
about their own learning, and it is a fun
way for students to connect to literacy.
Common Core State Standards:

• CC.SS.ELA-Literacy. Speaking and Listening.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
• CC.SS.ELA-Literacy. Reading. Craft and Structure.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from non-literal language.
• CC.SS.ELA-Literacy. Reading. Key Ideas and Details.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory:

- This theory suggests that social interaction leads to continuous step-by-step changes in children's thought and behavior that can vary greatly from culture to culture(Woolfolk, 1998).

- Vygotsky's theory suggests that development depends on interaction with others and the tools that the culture provides to help form their own personal views and emotions towards the world.

- Vygotsky believes that there are three ways that a cultural tool can be passed between people

1) The first one is imitative learning, where one person tries to imitate or copy another.
2) The second way is by instructed learning which involves remembering the instructions of the teacher and then using these instructions to self-regulate.
3) The final way that cultural tools are passed to others is through collaborative learning, which involves a group of peers who strive to understand each other and work together to learn a specific skill (Tomasello, et al., 1993).


Dr. Terry Cavanaugh a college professor,
states according to Schlick, Noe, and Johnson
(1999), a literature circle is more than a book club.
Where as a book club's discussion only centers on
events and plot, a literature circle format promotes
discussion from varying perspectives, which provides
members with a deeper understanding of the text.
During the reading of the selected literature,
students complete various jobs emphasizing skills
such as questioning, vocabulary development, and
writing (MCPS 2000).
Research Continued

Article- What
s the Next Big Thing with Literature Circles by Harvey Daniels
4 major roles and important of incorporating literature circles within the classroom
1) Engagement
2) Choice
3) Responsibility
4) Research

Disadvantages of Literature Circles

- Difficult for the teacher to constantly monitor each group. Therefore students may get off task.
- Many distractions within the classroom.
- Students not reading at home and not contributing to their literature circle.

Job of the Word Wizard
Your job is to bring out the magic
in the author’s words. While you
read search for words that you
find interesting, fun, or
unknown. Pick three words and
use your dictionary to define
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