What is a Lit. Circle? Students meet in small groups to read and respond to self- selected books. Daniels, 2002
Purpose Read and discuss something that interests them and is manageable in a supportive community of learners. View themselves as readers Opportunities to read high-quality books they may not have read on their own Take responsibility for completing assignments and self-assess learning and work habits
4 Components of Lit. Circles Reading- After book talks, students sign up for book they want to read and form lit. circles. Set up schedule with group and then read 1 st part to be ready to participate in discussion. Responding- Students meet to discuss book. Students often assume roles (see next slide) to prepare for and guide discussion. Creating Projects- After finishing the book, projects are presented to groups. Sharing- Each group shares with the class. They can do a book talk, share projects… but never tell the ending. Goal- create interest in reading the book!
Additional Roles: 1. Discussion Leader: Keeps group focused on the big ideas of the story. 2. Harmonizer: helps everyone stay on task and show respect for classmates. 3. Wordsmith: identifies important words in the story and checks the meaning of words in a dictionary. 4. Connector: connects events in the story with real life experiences. 5. Illustrator: draws pictures to help classmates visualize events in the story.
More Roles 1. Director: guides group’s discussion and keeps the group on task. 2. Passage Master: shares several memorable quotes with the group and explains why they were chosen. 3. Word wizard: identifies 4-6 important, unfamiliar words, checks their meaning in a dictionary, and shares the information with group members. 4. Connector: makes meaningful text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections. 5. Summarizer: prepares a brief summary of the reading to convey the big ideas to share with group. 6. Artist: draws a picture or diagram related to the book. The group talks about it before the artist explains it.
Guidelines: ~Students are linked by their book choice. ~Groups meet at scheduled and regular times. ~Meetings are to be open, natural conversations about the books. ~Any evaluation is by teacher observation and student self-evaluation. ~Discussions include characters and events, personal experiences and observations…
Teacher’s Role: Leader: opens discussion, establishes expectations, teaches routines, and guides discussions as necessary. Facilitator: sets the scene and invites discussion, withdraws but stays close by, steers by asking critical questions, intervenes as necessary (focus, clarify, involve everyone) and establishes beginning and ending points. Participant: acts as a member, “lifts” discussion, models verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and models “text talk”. Observer: withdraws but stays nearby, listens but does not participate, leans in with comment or question, and takes notes for future mini-lessons. Evaluator: evaluates quality of discussion & student’s comments, compares learning to curriculum goals, provides feedback to groups, prompts self-evaluations and gathers info. for future teaching.
Mini-lessons Goal: explicitly teach how to demonstrate understanding in lit. circle discussions but also provide strategies to use while reading independently, in guided reading groups or writing about reading (reflecting). Consider using a mini-lesson at the beginning of each reading workshop. Cover: routines of the workshop, strategies and skills, literary elements and content of student talk. Use several “routine” and “procedure” mini-lessons at the beginning of the year.