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Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles Chapter 1: Joining the Book Club.

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Presentation on theme: "Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles Chapter 1: Joining the Book Club."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles Chapter 1: Joining the Book Club

2 Elements of Lit Circles Students choose their own reading materials Small groups (3-6) are formed based on book/work choice. Grouping is by text choices, not by “ability” Different groups choose and read different works Groups create and meet on a regular schedule.


4 Literature Circles in HS

5 Lit Circles Elements, cont. Members write notes that help guide both their reading and their discussion Discussion questions come from the studnets, not teachers or textbooks. The teacher does not lead any group, but acts as a facilitator—fellow reader and observer Personal responses, connections, and questions are the starting points of discussion.


7 Lit Circles Elements, cont. A spirit of playfulness and sharing pervades the room. When works are finished, groups share highlights of their reading with classmates through presentations, reviews, dramitizations, book chats, or other activities. New groups form around new reading choices. Assessment is by teacher observation and student self- evaluation. 3&segmentID=8 3&segmentID=8


9 What do Book Clubs Look Like? 1. A brief introductory mini-lesson led by a teacher. 2. A long chunk of meeting time for the students, during which the teacher monitors and assists. 3. A short mini-lesson or debriefing session conducted by the teacher at the end. resources/lesson-plans/girls-read-online-literature- 970.html resources/lesson-plans/girls-read-online-literature- 970.html


11 What are Mini-Lessons? “Short, focused, teacher-directed activities used before and after each meeting of literature circles, book clubs, or any student-centered reading discussion.” From 5-15 minutes to introduce a single skill, practice a new strategy, or demonstrate a helpful variation. A few 20-30 minute lessons if they include practice time using real literature, not because the teacher talks more.

12 Why do we need them? Literature circles are complex We need to provide a period of training, especially if collaborative small-group work is unfamiliar or difficult. We need to make sure students have enough social, coginitive, and literary skills to begin functioning in peer-led groups. Need to be partnered with ongoing, systematic strucutre.

13 What Topics do they Cover? The social skills necessary for effective small- group discussion. The cognitive strategies that help readers to understand texts. The literary lenses smart readers use to examine and appreciate what they read.

14 Social Skills See list of skills on page 8, which include the following: Take turns Listen actively Include everybody Honor people’s “burning issues” Piggyback on ideas of others Speak up when you disagree Support your views with the work

15 Reading Strategies Visualize: make mental pictures or sensory images Connect: connect to own experience, events, other readings Question: actively wonder and interrogate text Infer: predict, hypothesize, interpret, draw conclusions Evaluate: determine relative importance, judge, critique Analyze: notice author’s craft, text structures, etc. Recal: retell, summarize, remember Self-Monitor: recognize and act upon uncertainty

16 Literary Analysis Focus on the craft of authorship (see chapter 7) Powerful language Taking notes on strong verbs Examining the setting with research Predicting plot and character Looking at characterization Relate to “reader response theory” – response precedes analysis. Highlight other approaches? Archetypal?

17 When do You Teach Mini- Lessons? Sample: 5-15 minutes: introductory mini-lesson 20-30 minutes: small-group meeting time 5-15 minutes: sharing time or closing mini- lesson. See pages 13 and 15.

18 Mini-Lessons in Book Name of lesson, time needed, and rationale Teaching the Lesson Getting started Working the room Reflecting What can go wrong? What’s next, and Variations.

19 How to teach them well Adapt them to your class (grade level, schedule, unit concept, students) Provide students with journals: think of these as double column response logs. Be ready to switch roles from coach to instructor ature-circles-start-to-finish ature-circles-start-to-finish

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