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Digging Deeper into Literature Discussion Groups/Book Clubs. Summer Literacy institute 2013. Gradual Release of Responsibility: a structure for successful instruction. Teacher Responsibility. “I do it”. Focus Lesson. Guided Instruction. “We do it”. Collaborative. “You do it together”.

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gradual release of responsibility a structure for successful instruction
Gradual Release of Responsibility: a structure for successful instruction

Teacher Responsibility

“I do it”

Focus Lesson

Guided Instruction

“We do it”


“You do it together”


“You do it alone”

Student Responsibility

Fisher & Frey, Better Learning Through Structured Teaching, 2008

literature discussion groups
Literature Discussion Groups
  • You do it!
  • Launch
  • Norms
  • Read
  • Discuss
  • Debrief
    • Small group
    • Put one post it on the board about what classroom implications this activity had
  • Take Away
    • Whole group

Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'TheStar−Spangled Banner' at Woodstock by Sherman Alexie


Room by Emma Donogue- http://emmadonoghue.com/books/novels/room-the-novel.html

Olive Kitteridgeby Elizabeth Strouthttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/books/review/Thomas-t.html

teaching students accountable talk
Teaching Students Accountable Talk

Students need to be taught HOW to agree, disagree, clarify, add on

Use student friendly language- what would students actually be saying


conversation starters
Conversation Starters
  • Book Marks
    • Sample 1
    • Sample 2
  • Anchor Charts
accountable talk
Accountable Talk


Teacher/Student: Record the talk

Discuss—what do you notice?

How can you foster this kind of conversation in your classroom?

setting norms
Setting Norms

Students can work together to set norms for their book clubs

Have students create a poster for their book club with 3-5 norms they will need to be successful

Remind students to take this out at the beginning of each meeting time to prepare for their meeting

component 1 intro selection of book
Component 1: Intro/Selection of Book
  • Book clubs should still contain student choice as much as possible
    • Choice within book club group that is already established
    • Choice, then put into book clubs based on choice
  • Book talk books to get students excited and interested
    • LMC Specialist
    • Amazon
    • Book trailers
    • Reading first chapter
    • Student recommendations
component 1 cont
Component 1 Cont…
  • Students need to be taught HOW to prepare for book club meetings
    • Read assigned text
    • Flag your thinking
    • Respond in reading logs
  • Model, Model, Model!
  • Practice with short texts before sending off to practice with book club books
component 2 silent reading
Component 2: Silent Reading
  • Time for students to independently enjoy book club books
  • As they read, students are using comprehension tools taught in previous mini-lessons
  • Flagging their thinking, responding
  • Teacher is conferring with individuals or may be pulling mixed strategy groups
  • Setting a calendar
    • Students may be assigned to read to a certain point by teacher
    • Students may determine their own stopping point (if reading different books within a book club)
    • Students may determine stopping points as a club
component 3 teacher conference
Component 3: Teacher Conference
  • Teachers are conferring 1:1 as students are reading and guiding their thinking to a higher level
  • Conferring might include
    • Responding to the Story
      • Did any of the characters remind you of anyone you know?
    • Questioning the Author
      • What do you think the author is trying to tell us in this part?
    • Assessing Comprehension
      • What is the theme of this story?
    • Discussing Student Reading Log Entries
component 4 group discussion
Component 4: Group Discussion

Remind students to review norms

May occur after the text or several times within, depending on length of text

Teacher role: mentor students to conduct their own discussions- scaffold as needed and gradually release

Remind students to use conversation prompts

component 5 peer discussions
Component 5: Peer Discussions

Extension of literature discussion groups with the teacher

Students continue discussion once teacher has left

Students need be taught to assess their discussion at a group level and an individual level

Accountability: Consider the use of a self reflection/rubric for students to use at end of discussion groups

component 6 text mapping focus groups
Component 6: Text Mapping & Focus Groups
  • Goal is to promote deeper thinking & comprehension
  • Text or story maps
    • Individually, small groups, or teacher guided groups
  • Focus Groups
    • Teacher identifies a specific focus for comprehension to work on with a particular group
      • Author’s style, text feature, character analysis
component 7 literature extensions
Component 7: Literature Extensions
  • Work alone or with group to extend their thinking beyond the text
  • Examples
    • Reading another book by same author
    • Writing a letter to the author
    • Interviewing the main character of the book
    • Research the author or illustrator
    • Write a poem relate to reading
    • Character analysis of several characters
    • Writing an alternate ending
    • Creating a timeline of events
    • Student chosen ideas
book club types
Book Club Types
  • Author Book Clubs
  • Series Book Clubs
  • Genre Book Clubs
  • Leveled Book Clubs
  • Topic Book Clubs (non-fiction)
    • Example: Social Issues
  • Other ideas?
ways to organize book clubs
Ways To Organize Book Clubs

Same levels

Mixed levels

Same text

Mixed text

Same topic

Mixed topic

guided book clubs
Guided Book Clubs

Still based on student choice

Book talk 4-5 books

Students write down top 3

Teacher selects based on choice/level

May be teacher selected topic, OEU driven topic, or student selected topic

book club scheduling
Book Club Scheduling

Teacher scheduled

Group scheduled

Individually scheduled

so what are you doing
So What Are YOU Doing?

Still needs to include a mini-lesson

Conferring, meeting with groups

Sample 1

Sample 2

holding students accountable
Holding Students Accountable
  • Student created norm chart
  • Teacher rubrics
    • Create your own rubric
  • Student self evaluations
  • Reflective responses (notebooking)
  • Student Activity Guide