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Literature Circles. Diane Kennedy Instructional Coach Sioux Falls School District. Objectives for sessions:. Explain differences between guided reading and literature circles Explain the four components of lit groups

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literature circles

Literature Circles

Diane Kennedy

Instructional Coach

Sioux Falls School District

objectives for sessions
Objectives for sessions:
  • Explain differences between guided reading and literature circles
  • Explain the four components of lit groups
  • State characteristics of literature circles and how to implement them in your classroom
  • Provide mini lesson ideas to get you started
  • Discuss the need for accountability and provide ways to do that
  • Learn how to incorporate standards/21st Century Skills into literature circles
  • Provide time to troubleshoot common problems
comparing guided reading and literature circles
Emphasis is on strategic reading

Teacher supports readers as they develop reading strategies

Teacher chooses the text to be read.

Students are usually grouped homogenously.

Texts are chosen based on difficulty of text and to provide instruction in a reading strategy.

Teacher plays a major instructional role.

Students must be able to read text with minimal support from teacher.

Emphasis is on critical reading and thinking

Teacher supports readers as they think and construct meaning.

Students choose the text they want to read from options provided from teacher.

Grouping may be heterogeneous by interest or homogeneous.

Texts are chosen by topics students are exploring in class or by interest.

Teacher may participate as a reader to model thinking and responding.

Text can be read in multiple ways- independently, with a partner, guided, taped version or read aloud

Comparing Guided Reading and Literature Circles
four major components of lit groups
Four Major Components of Lit Groups
  • Read the book
  • Talk about the book
  • Write or reflect on the book
  • Celebrate
characteristics of lit groups
Characteristics of Lit Groups
  • Groups are usually heterogeneous
  • Teacher provides a variety of books to choose from.
  • There are several frameworks for literature

(core book, multiple books, text sets, author sets)

  • Groups usually contain 4-6 members
  • Students meet once, twice or three times a week to discuss book
  • Students must read and be prepared for each meeting
  • Once the book is finished, the group should present a response project
  • Teacher acts as facilitator for group/models if necessary
  • Students/teacher evaluate the group
possible guidelines for lit groups
Possible Guidelines for Lit Groups
  • We need to have a reader’s notebook to record our thoughts
  • We come prepared and do not read ahead
  • We are prepared to share our responses
  • We do not interrupt group members while they are talking. You do not have to raise your hand to speak.
  • We make eye contact when another member is talking
  • We settle any disagreements by finding the answer in the book to support our thoughts
  • We evaluate the group at the end of each session
  • We will make sure that each person in our group has a chance to share equally
  • We will get started within one minute
getting started
Getting Started…
  • Model expectations/procedure with core book whole group using “fish bowl” method. (see examples)
  • Teacher chooses the book to be considered as choices
  • Teacher does a brief book talk on each book and allows students to look through the books
  • Students indicate first, second and third choice on paper
  • Teacher groups students
  • Students have opportunity to abandon book (by filling out form) See handout
  • The fun begins!
once the groups are formed primary grades
Once the groups are formed: (Primary grades)
  • Student/teacher choice
  • Students complete a pre-reading activity
  • Teacher/students decide on assignment/admission slip if it goes more than one session
  • Teacher facilitates group and perhaps uses “sticks” to monitor discussion
  • May be only one session or short assignments
  • May have reflection activity at the end
once the groups are formed intermediate grades
Once the groups are formed:(Intermediate grades)
  • Students look at book and complete a pre-reading activity
  • Students decide on schedule/assignments
  • Students begin reading and completing an “Admission Slip”/response journal before returning (often the topic is decided by teacher to meet goal/standards or taken off a list provided by teacher) See handout
  • Students meet at designated times and discuss reading assignment
  • Group reflects on session and decide on next assignment
  • Once the group is completely finished, they complete a response project.
  • Self/Group reflection after each get together
  • Admission slips/responses throughout book
  • Teacher anecdotal notes
  • Response project
  • Parent feedback (optional)
mini lessons good resource mini lessons for literature circles by harvey daniels and nancy steineke
Mini Lessons(Good resource: Mini Lessons for Literature CirclesBy Harvey Daniels and Nancy Steineke)
  • cooperative learning skills/procedural

responding to ideas, knee to knee eye to eye, sharing feelings, disagreeing

constructively, taking turns, selecting books, reading silently, discussion roles

  • to enhance meaningful discussions

focusing on topic, piggybacking off someone else’s comment, supporting ideas

with evidence, asking questions for clarity

  • activities to implement standards/skills wanting to be covered

characters, predicting, cause/effect, author’s purpose, compare/contrast

  • Admission slip/response not completed
  • Book choice is too hard for student
  • Book forgotten at home
  • Behaviors (off task, not taking turns, not listening to others)
  • Abandoning a book
  • Discussion not “meaty” enough