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LITERATURE CIRCLES. Presented by: Valerie Eblin Lisa Eastwood Daniel Labram Melissa Morales. What are Literature Circles?. “Small temporary, discussion groups, usually made up of four or five students” (Daniels 13). Harvey Daniels.

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literature circles


Presented by:

Valerie Eblin

Lisa Eastwood

Daniel Labram

Melissa Morales

what are literature circles
What are Literature Circles?

“Small temporary, discussion groups, usually made up of four or five students” (Daniels 13).

harvey daniels
Harvey Daniels
  • Although he is regarded as the primary researcher of Literature Circles, numerous other researchers have adapted the literature circle concept.
  • Each student within the group has a particular role that they perform. The teacher may assign roles or allow students to choose a role that interests them. It is recommended that students rotate roles.
roles created by harvey daniels
Roles created by Harvey Daniels
  • Discussion Director
  • Word Wizard
  • Character Captain
  • Passage Maker
  • Artful Artist
  • The Researcher
  • Scene Setter
discussion director
Discussion Director
  • This student makes sure that the group members participate in the discussion. He or she also takes notes for the discussion and keeps the group on task.
word wizard
Word Wizard
  • This student locates words which need further explanation to fully understand the text.
character captain
Character Captain
  • This student tracks the evolution of characters and cites text examples. He or she then shares his or findings with the group.
passage maker
Passage Maker
  • This student takes down interesting and important quotations from the novel.
the artful artist
The Artful Artist
  • This student draws scenes from the novel.
the researcher
The Researcher
  • This student goes outside the text and reports back to the group on issues such as historical context.
scene setter
Scene Setter
  • This student keeps track of scene changes in the text and the significance of such changes.
literature circle variations
Literature Circle Variations:
  • “Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crew” (IRA & NCTE, 2005)
  • Literature Circles for English Language Learners (Lin, 2002)
  • Inclusive Literature Circles for Auditory Learners (Lopez)
group configuration
Group Configuration
  • Generally, all students within each group read the same text.
  • All literature circle groups may read the same novel or each group may read a different novel.
grades k 3
Grades K-3
  • Highly structured
  • Text is not as extensive
  • Less frequent and shorter meeting time
  • Limited amount of roles
  • Limited amount of text choices
    • Teacher must guide students due to age
    • At this stage they are learning the basics of literature circles
grades 4 6
Grades 4-6
  • Structured
  • More reader independence
  • Text is more extensive
  • More frequent and longer meeting time
  • More roles introduced
  • Students may read different text from a pre-selected group of books
      • Less teacher guidance needed
      • At this stage, students should be

more comfortable with the process

grade 7 12
Grade 7-12
  • Students may determine how much they will read and report on.
  • Format is generally less structured for older students.
  • After students are very familiar with literature circles, they may not need roles.
  • Students may use sticky notes to mark pages of personal significance.
secondary content area
Secondary Content Area
  • Literature Circles can be used with non-fiction articles and trade texts.
  • Students can read the same or jig-sawed chapters from the textbook.
  • Most content area literature circle models emphasize vocabulary development.
when to implement literature circles
When to implement Literature Circles
  • Reading Aloud
  • Shared Reading  (visible text)
  • Guided Reading  (leveled text groups)
  • Independent Reading 
  • Shared Writing  (teacher scribe)
  • Interactive Writing  (teacher/kids share pen)
  • Guided Writing or Writing Workshop (teacher guided, conferences, mini-lessons)
      • Independent Writing  (own pieces)
lit circles technology
Lit Circles & Technology
  • Students are using Podcasts to participate in lit circles with other schools.
  • Technology allows global lit circles!
  • Podcasts also allow students to tape and review their discussion.
points to consider
Points to consider
  • Reading material selection should be important entice lively and meaningful discussions
  • The teacher must establish a community of learning environment.
  • Students must be familiar with text & prepared to fulfill roles in the discussion.
  • Students should critically analyze text.
  • Respectful listening and sharing are essential!
benefits of literature circles on student s learning
Benefits of Literature Circles on Student's Learning
  • Stronger reader-text relationships
  • Improved classroom climates
  • Enhanced degrees of gender equity and understanding, and
  • A learning environment more conducive to the needs and abilities of English language learners.
teacher reflections
Teacher Reflections
  • Teacher must take students ability, maturity, and behavior into account when choosing structure.
  • Like other reading strategies, literature circles should be used across the curriculum.
The benefits of literature circles are numerous. They include: student centered learning; increased social interactions; higher level thinking; and possibly…

Candler, L. Teacher Resources. Retrieved March 25, 2007, from

Daniels, H. (1994). Voice and choice in the student centered classroom. Pembroke Publishers Limited: Markham.

Lin, C.H. (2002). Literature circles. Eric Digest, 1-7.

San Antonio Home Education. Retrieved March 24, 2007 from

Schlick, K. Literature Circle Resource Center.

College of Education Seattle University. Retrieved March 24, 2007 from

Teacher Vision (2007). Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved March 24, 2007 from