Children with the lowest reading scores really wanted to participate in the literature ... Literature circles, gender and reading for enjoyment. J. Allan, S. ...
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Experiences of Schools in Scotland
Literature circles are like adult book-groups. Children meet regularly in class to discuss a book. Groups form on the basis of book choice rather than on how well children read.
Children with the lowest reading scores really wanted to participate in the literature circles, and taking part improved their attitudes towards reading.
The receptive vocabulary of boys improved – i.e. they recognised words when they saw or heard them.
Literature circles worked best when teachers had prepared the groundwork to facilitate purposeful collaboration.
Literature circles were most successful when pupils played a real part in selecting the book and when the groups met on a regular basis.
Teachers began to question and develop their views of how to foster reading attitudes and attainment.
Teachers needed to learn how to value talk – as well as to empower children to work within literature circles.
Giving children book choices had financial implications – as it meant buying multiple copies of books. Head teachers had to think of cost effective ways of doing this.
They provided teachers with the chance to promote reading for enjoyment by harnessing the social networks that existed within the class.
They promoted reading as an active and desirable social activity, rather than an essentially private and individual one.
The Scottish Executive study looked at teachers’ and pupils’ experiences of setting up literature circles. It also looked at the impact on pupils’ attainment and attitudes. It involved 96 pupils, 3 primary teachers and one secondary teacher across 4 schools.