Literature Circles: Parallel Journeys

Guidelines for Interaction Guidelines for Interpretation
 One speaker at a time.  Support your ideas using the book. (What words
 Explain your thinking. or pictures in the book made you think of your
idea? Can you show where in the book it says
 Let other people talk.
that?)
 Stay on the subject.
 Support your ideas with your own experience
 Take your turn at listening.
(What happened in your life that is like this
 Share your ideas.
situation? Who do you know that is like this
 Show respect for others' ideas.
character and why?)

Tips for participating in group discussions: In general, good interpretive questions:

 attend to the topic.  have more than one answer supported by the
 participate actively in the group. text.
 ask questions.  uses appropriate vocabulary for the
 "piggyback" on others' comments. participants.
 allow all members of the group opportunity to  focuses on the text.
participate.  requires students to take a stand.
 disagree constructively.  are specific to the particular text.
 support opinions with evidence  What makes you think that?
 How would another character react to that?
 Why did you think the problem would get
solved in that way?

Meeting Dates and Assignments
Names Session #1 Session #2

1. Connector Discussion
Director
Discussion
2. Connector
Director
Passage Wordsmith:
3.
Master Vocabulary
Wordsmith: Passage
4.
Vocabulary Master
Reading
Ch. Ch.
assignments:
Names Session #1 Session #2

1. Connector Discussion
Director
Discussion
2. Connector
Director
Passage Wordsmith:
3.
Master Vocabulary
Wordsmith: Passage
4.
Vocabulary Master
Reading
Ch. Ch.
assignments:
Literature Circles Role Sheet

Connector

Name _____________________________

Meeting Date _________________ Assignment: Chapters ________ to ___________

Connector: Your job is to identify connections between the text and the outside world. This means
that you need to find connections between the novel and your own life; happenings in the world or
your community; similar events from other times and places; related incidents in other stories;
comparisons to other writings on the same topic; or links to other writings by the same author.

Possible connections to the reading for today:

1. ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________

Add a page for the reference that made you think of each connection. Your task during discussion is
to help your group members reflect on, share, and develop their own responses to the reading.

And finally, in the space below, reflect upon one group member’s response to a connection you
suggested that was particularly insightful:

__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
Literature Circles Role Sheet

Discussion Director

Name _____________________________

Meeting Date _________________ Assignment: Chapters ________ to ___________

Discussion Director: Your job is to develop a list of questions that your group might want to discuss
about this part of the book. Don’t worry about the small details; your task is to help people talk over
the big ideas in the reading and share their reactions. Usually the best discussion questions come from
your own thoughts, feelings, and concerns as you read. You should list your questions below as you
read the assigned pages. Include page references.

Possible discussion questions or topics for today:

# Page Reference & Question
Paragraph
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Remember: The questions cannot be “yes” or “no” questions; do not begin questions with the words
do, are, can, or will. Add a page for the reference that made you think of each question. Your task
during discussion is to help your group members reflect on, share, and develop their own responses to
the reading.

And finally, in the space below, reflect upon one response from a group member to a question you
posed that was particularly insightful:

__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
Literature Circles Role Sheet

Passage Master

Name _____________________________

Meeting Date _________________ Assignment: Chapters ________ to ___________

Passage Master: Your job is to pre-select passages from the novel to read aloud to your group in order
to help your group members remember some interesting, powerful, puzzling, or important sections of
the text. You decide which passages or paragraphs are worth reading aloud, and justify your reasons
for selecting them. Write the page numbers and paragraph numbers on this form along with the reason
you chose each passage. You must choose a minimum of 3 passages.

Location: Reason(s) for choosing this passage:

Passage #1 __________________________________________________________

Page _________ __________________________________________________________

Paragraph _____ __________________________________________________________

Passage #2 __________________________________________________________

Page _________ __________________________________________________________

Paragraph _____ __________________________________________________________

Passage #3 __________________________________________________________

Page _________ __________________________________________________________

Paragraph _____ __________________________________________________________

Remember: Your choice of passages must be thoughtful and reflective. Your task during discussion
is to help your group members reflect on, share, and develop their own responses to the reading.

And finally, in the space below, reflect upon one response from a group member to a passage you
highlighted that was particularly insightful:
__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________
Literature Circles Role Sheet

Wordsmith: Vocabulary

Name _____________________________

Meeting Date _________________ Assignment: Chapters ________ to ___________

Wordsmith: Your job is to be on the lookout for particularly significant words in today’s reading. If
you find words that are puzzling or unfamiliar, mark them while you are reading and then later jot
down their definition, either from a dictionary or from some other source. You may also run across
familiar words that stand out somehow in the reading: words that are repeated a number of times, are
used in an unusual way, or provide a key to the meaning of the text. Mark these special words and be
ready to point them out to your group. When your circle meets, help other members find and then
discuss these significant words.

Word Location Definition Connotation/ Significance

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

And finally, in your own words, describe how the author’s diction (choice of words) enhances the
meaning of the novel. Be specific; make reference to words you identified for today’s assignment.
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
Literature Circles

Reflections and Reader Response Journal
(Rate yourself honestly 1-5; 1 being lowest, 5 being highest)

Ch. 1-3 Ch. 1-3 Ch. 1-3 Ch. 15-17 Ch. 15-17 Ch. 15-17
Reflection Statements Yes Somewhat Not Yes Somewhat Not
Today Today
I completed my assigned reading
before the meeting.
I responded to other groups
members’ ideas with positive
impressions and thoughtful
insights.
I asked questions to clarify my
understanding of the book and/or
to help me better understand other
group members’ ideas.
I shared parts of the book that
were important to me and
explained why they were
important.
I was a careful and caring listener
by giving my complete attention
to other group members when
they were speaking.
I brought all required materials to
my Literature Circle meeting
today (novel, resources, journal,
etc.).
I wrote thoughtful and complete
reading response journal entries.

What was an important contribution you made to the discussion today?
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________

What was an important idea or explanation expressed by someone else during the discussion?
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________

Other observations:
__________________________________________________________________________________