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Literature Circles. The Giver and Gathering Blue Unit. What are literature circles?. As we read Lois Lowry’s novels Gathering Blue and The Giver , you will be meeting with a small group of your classmates to discuss the novel (s) you are reading.

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Literature Circles

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literature circles

Literature Circles

The Giver and Gathering Blue Unit

what are literature circles
What are literature circles?

As we read Lois Lowry’s novels Gathering Blue and The Giver, you will be meeting with a small group of your classmates to discuss the novel (s) you are reading.

Each individual group member will have a certain “role” in which he or she will have to fulfill a particular assignment for the reading each week. You will meet on Mondays to decide on who will fill each role.

On Fridays, your group will meet to share your role and discuss the reading from the week. You will also discuss the “big questions” for the week.

At the end of the unit, your group will complete a project together. More info to come! 

lit circle roles
Lit Circle Roles
  • Discussion Director
  • Connector
  • Illustrator
  • Passage Picker
discussion director
Discussion Director
  • Your job is to create at least three questions to discuss with your group members after you have finished reading.
  • These questions should be about the “big ideas” from the book.
  • Usually, the best discussion questions come from your own thoughts, feelings, and concerns as you read.
  • Also, keep up with what roles your group members have by writing them down.
  • Your job is to tell the class what connections you make between this week’s reading and our real lives.
  • You may connect the reading to your own life, to what happens in your school, or in your community.
  • You may also relate it to movies, the news, television shows, or other books.
  • There are no right or wrong answers here—whatever the reading connects you with is worth sharing.
  • Your job is to draw some kind of picture related to the reading. It can be a sketch, cartoon, diagram, graph, or even a stick-figure scene.
  • The picture can be about something that is specifically talked about in the reading, or something that the reading reminded you of, or a picture that conveys any idea or feeling you got from the reading.
  • Label your drawing to help explain it to your group.
  • Color helps your group members see your illustration.
  • Allow your group members to comment on and discuss your illustration.
  • Be sure to post your drawing in the classroom after you have shown it to your group.
passage picker
Passage Picker
  • Your job is to choose at least two passages of the reading that you feel are important enough for your group to hear again.
  • The idea is to help people remember some interesting, powerful, funny, puzzling, or important parts of the book.
  • You will provide the page number of each passage and the first two words so your group members will be able to find the passage. (I will give you a chart.)
  • Also, write down the reason for why you chose this passage to share with your group members.
  • You can read passages aloud yourself, ask someone else to read them, or have people read them silently and then discuss.
what makes a good discussion
What makes a good discussion?

Empathetic Listening

Responding to Others

Expand on your group members’ ideas by sharing your own thoughts and feelings about what they contribute to the conversations.

  • Give your complete attention to the speaker, showing the people in your group that you value their thoughts.

Tell me more about….

  • What do you mean….?
  • What do you think….?
  • I think….because….
  • I wonder….
  • I was surprised….
  • This part reminds me of…
  • I noticed….
  • I didn’t understand….
  • I wish….

Clarifying: Probe to understand each other’s ideas.

Sharing Ideas and Justifying Opinions: Share parts of the book that are important to you and explain why they are important. Justify your opinions.

preparing for discussion
Preparing for Discussion…

Before you meet with you literature circle, choose a part of the book that….

Was your favorite part

Reminds you of another book

Reminds you of something that has happened in life

  • Makes you wonder
  • Makes you laugh
  • Makes you sad or upset
  • You don’t understand
ms everett s rules for lit circles
Ms. Everett’s Rules for Lit Circles
  • All group members must…
  • read the whole novel (s) you are assigned
  • come to lit circles prepared (with book, reading charts, and lit circle role work)
  • participate in discussions
  • stay on task!!
  • be respectful of other group members (by paying attention, listening, and responding)