Successful Literature Circle Strategies for All

Lee Ann Spillane * www.laspillane.org * spillarke@aol.com

List Group Label
1. You will have _____ minutes to

LIST all the words you can
think of related to _______________________________________. 2. In groups, GROUP the words into categories on chart paper. 3. LABEL your categories. 4. Share and discuss.

Taba, H. (1967). Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary Social Studies. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley.

When students put language to work for them in content classrooms, it helps them to

• discover • organize • retrieve, and • elaborate
on what they are learning. ~ Richard Vaca
as cited by Allen, Janet. 2004. Tools for Teaching Content Literacy.

• Literature circles are a method for teaching students how to talk about books together • Literature circles . . . are cooperative learning groups. contain 3 - 5 students per group. are peer supported text study. • Students are in charge of their text choices, and reading/discussion assignments. • Students rotate through given roles during the course of the circle.

• Teach comprehension.
- visualizing - predicting - questioning - connecting - inferring - determining importance

• Teach many aspects of comprehension at once. • Allow students to learn from each other. • Naturally motivational. • Promote effective discussion.

Day, J. P. (2002). Moving Forward With Literature Circles: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Literature Circles That Deepen Understanding and Foster a Love of Reading (Theory and practice). Scholastic Professional Books. New York.

How to . . . Run Literature Circles
• Build interest. • Select books. • Model each roll. • Model the literature circle. • Assign/create groups. • Set a schedule. • Assign/choose roles. • Explain evaulation. • Be the “Guide on theSide.”

You will have _____ minutes for this activity.

Examine the student samples. What do you notice about how students completed the role sheets? What do they know? What are they able to do? What would you teach next?

Inner Circle:
Students/Literature Circle

Outer Circle: Teachers/Observers 1. Read and annotate the text. 2. Complete your role sheet. 3. Inner circle discuss the text. Outer circle note what happens. 4. Debrief with the outer circle. 5. Switch circles and repeat.

Group1: Teachers/Observers Group 2:
Students/Literature Circle

1. EVERYONE: First, read and annotate the text. Complete your role sheet. (3-5 minutes) 2. “Students” : Discuss the text in your literature circle. (5 minutes) 4. “Teachers”: Observe the students and note what you hear and see happening in the circles. 5. Debrief. What was easy? What was difficult as circle members and/or as teachers?(5-7 minutes)

BOOK CHOICE SHEET

Name: Date:

Directions: Tell me what book you would like to read for literature circles. Support your choice with at least three reasons. Be sure to completely fill out the selection sheet as you may not be able to get your first choice every time.

My first choice is __________________________________________________ because 1. 2. 3. My second choice is __________________________________________________ because 1. 2. 3. My third choice is __________________________________________________ because 1. 2. 3.

Reader Response Journal Prompts!

BOOK CHOICE SHEET

Each week you’ll write a response to your reading to prepare for your literature circle meeting. Begin each response with the book title, author and date of your entry. 4/6/04

Name: Date:

Directions: Number your book choices from 1 to 4, with 1 being your top choice. If there is a special reason for your choice please jot a note under your selection. _____ Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

Romiette and Julio by Sharon Draper

You can choose to: • copy a thoughtful quotation from the book and write a paragraph about what it means to you

• discuss what confuses you about the book

• discuss what you would do differently from one of the characters in the books

_____ Scribbler of Dreams by Mary Pearson

• create a Venn diagram to compare the book to other books you have read

• compare the characters in the book to people you know

• predict what will happen next in the book

_____ Romiette & Julio by Sharon Draper

• draw a picture in response to what you read and write a description/ explanation of your picture; label you picture with details from the text

• find a poem that reminds you of something from the novel, copy the poem into your journal and write a paragraph explaining how it connects to the book

_____ If You Come Softly by Jacqulyn Woodson
Adapted from Janet Lopez

•write a paragraph explaining how events in the book connect to events in your own life or events that have happened or are happening in the world Adapted from Janet Lopez

LITERATURE CIRCLE MEETING EVALUATION

Name:

Date: Literature Circles: To be evaluated by the ________________________ Daily Participation Scoring Guide for reading: _______________________________

Attendance
Were members prepared for day’s discussion? Comments Discussion Director/Task Master: Comments Literary Luminary/Passage Master: Comments Character Captain: Comments Connector: Comments Artful Artist: Comments Word Wizard: Comments Role: _____________________ Comments

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

As a group, assess your work habits for today. Discuss and circle the standards your group met for today on the Literature Circle Evaluation Rubric. If your group fell into the lowest categories, explain what didn’t work, and make a plan for what you’ll do differently at your next meeting. Comments:

Adapted from Janet Lopez

LITERATURE CIRCLE EVALUATION RUBRIC
Indicator A Exceeds Expectations all of the group members talked about the book the entire time and were supportive of one another’s views B Meets Expectations most of the group members talked about the book the entire time and most were supportive of each other’s views C Working towards Expectations
some of the group members talked about the book the entire time; others talked socially; some of the group members were supportive of each other’s views some of the members prepared for the circle ahead of time by doing the reading or completing the writing/role sheets; others completed the role sheets during the circle’s meeting time

D Below Expectations
few of the group members talked about the book the entire time; most talked socially; group members argued disrespectfully about each other’s views

F Disregarded Expectations
most of the group members talked socially and NOT about the book; group members argued disrespectfully about each other’s views and did not meet the goals of the circle
several of the members tried to do the prep work (reading and completing the role sheets) DURING the circle meeting OR several of the members did not read or participate
more than two group members did not stayed on task (or were absent )even when the teacher stepped in or was near; some members did not even know what their role was

Group Talk

Being Prepared

all the members prepared for the circle ahead of time by doing the reading and completing the writing/role sheets

most of the members prepared for the circle ahead of time by doing the reading and completing the writing/role sheets

several of the members did not prepare for the circle ahead of time by doing the reading or completing the writing/role sheets

Doing the Work

each group member stayed on task and acted according to their role

most group members stayed on task most of the time and acted according to their role

some group member stayed on task only when the someone reminded them to do so; members tried to act according to their role
did not set clear reading goals, or reading goals are revised as the groups meet ; there may be some confusion about roles; planned for next meeting

some group members stayed on task only when the teacher stepped in or was near ; some members did not try to act according to their role ran out of time before group could finish planning for the next meeting; may set reading and roles but both or either are not met by meeting time
group members sometimes listened to each other; if disagreements arose members sometimes ignored them, ignored some group members or let one person take over

Setting Goals

clearly set reading goals, roles and planned for next meeting

set reading goals, roles and planned for next meeting

did not set goals or plan for next meeting

group members listened to each other and if disagreements Worked arose members Cooperatively discussed them respectfully by letting all members give suggestions and agree with solutions

group members listened to each other and if disagreements arose members discussed them respectfully by listening to everyone

group members listened to each other and if disagreements arose members discussed them but not everyone participated or was heard

group members did not listened to each other; if disagreements arose argued, sometimes raising their voices or talking over others; not everyone participated or was heard
Adapted from Janet Lopez

How to . . .
using a long reach stapler!

CREATE LITERATURE CIRCLE TOOLS

MINI- READER RESPONSE JOURNALS . . .
Print the Reader Response Journal Cover on card stock. Or print on white paper and have students glue it onto construction paper. Use blank interior pages, or print lined pages, or art boxed pages front to back. Fold the cover in half and staple the journal “guts” into the booklet

LITERATURE CIRCLE ROLE SHEETS . . .
Photocopy the role sheets and hand them out to students. It might be helpful to keep file folders of extra sheets in your classroom. You might also consider copying the different roles onto different colors of paper to make management of roles per group easier. If your students use academic journals or some other type of journal, you might consider making small size role sheets that they could paste into their journal. Once you want to start weaning students away from the role sheets, consider taping them to card stock or construction paper and laminating them. If students use full sized laminated role sheets they can write on with dry erase markers or transparency markers. Finally, you can make quarter sheet sized role cards, sort of like literature circle trading cards, that students can hold in their hands to keep them focused.

Passage Picker

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the Passage Picker, it is your job to read aloud parts of the story 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 2 passages. Some reasons for choosing passages to share might include: * Pivotal events * Informative * Descriptive * Surprising * Scary *Famous scene *Sad * Thought-provoking * Funny * Controversial * Confusing * Personally meaningful

Passage #1 Book____________________________________ Page _____Paragraph ___ Reason for choosing the passage 1. 2. 3. Passage #2 Book____________________________________ Page _____Paragraph ___ Reason for choosing the passage 1. 2. 3.

Passage #3 Book____________________________________ Page _____Paragraph ___ Reason for choosing the passage 1. 2. 3.
Adapted from Janet Lopez

As the Discussion Director, it is your job to get the conversation about the book going and to keep it going (about the book). To generate some good book talk write down five or more questions after you read the selection. Avoid yes and no questions by beginning your questions with: why? what if . . .? how . . . ? which . . . would be best? which scene was . . . ?

Discussion Director

Name: Date of Meeting:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Adapted from Janet Lopez

Amazing Artist

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the Amazing Artist, your job is to capture one of the scenes. Don’t worry about your artistic abilities! What’s important is that your group members “see” a movie in their mind as they read the book. You will draw at least one scene (item, setting, character, or other element of the reading) and note at least two more. During your literature circle meeting you will read these scenes or bits aloud to your group and discuss what words the author used that helped you form mental pictures. I can visualize_______________________________________________ on page _____.

Remember to label your artwork with details from the text! I can visualize_______________________________________________ on page _____. Details that help me “see” the words include:

I can visualize_______________________________________________ on page _____. Details that help me “see” the words include:

Word Wizard

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the Word Wizard, it is your job to log cool vocabulary words from the book your group is reading. You will create a personal dictionary for the group! Words chosen can be: *Spectacular * Important * Unfamiliar * Different * Puzzling * Curious *Favorites * Funny * Used in an unusual way * Interesting List a minimum of 5 interesting words! Word Page # Definition Reason for Choosing

Adapted from Janet Lopez

Creative Connector
Original Scene My Connection

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the Creative Connector, your job is to make connections to deepen your groups understanding of the story. Your goal is to make text to self, text to text, or text to world connections that help you and your group better understand the story! Come up with one to three connections. Describe the scene, the connection and the “so what” of how they deepen your understanding below.

So What? It helps me understand. . .

Curious Questioner

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the curious questioner, your job is to be inquisitive. You need to make the wondering that good readers do explicit for your group! That means that you have to record your questioning thinking as you read! As you read, listen for the questions you ask of the text. Record five or more questions you asked of the text below.

Share at least three of your wonderings with you group during your literature circle! If your group members come up with their own wonderings, add them to your list!

When I read . . .

I wondered. . .

Metaphor Maker

Name: Date of Meeting:

As the Metaphor Maker, your job is to think outside the box! If Forest Gump can come up with the simile, “life is like a box of chocolates” you can come up with creative comparisons too! Whether similes (using like or as) or metaphors (life is a box of chocolates), create three to five creative comparisons that help you deepen your understanding of the reading. You might compare a setting, a character, a scene, a moment, or any other item to something interesting and unexpected!

The Text Hamlet from Shakepeare’s play, Hamlet

Is like . . .

Because. . .
he’s been bouncing around a lot -he can’t make up his mind and keeps bouncing from one sideof the tennis court (action) to the other (inaction).

a worn out tennis ball

Metaphor Maker
As the Metaphor Maker, your job is to think outside the box! If Forest Gump can come up with the simile, “life is like a box of chocolates” you can come up with creative comparisons too! Whether similes (using like or as) or metaphors (life is a box of chocolates), create three to five creative comparisons that help you deepen your understanding of the reading. You might compare a setting, a character, a scene, a moment, or any other item to something interesting and unexpected!

Creative Connector
As the Creative Connector, your job is to make connections to deepen your groups understanding of the story. Your goal is to make text to self, text to text, or text to world connections that help you and your group better understand the story! Come up with one to three connections. Describe the scene, the connection and the “so what” of how they deepen your understanding below.

Original Scene . . . My Connection . . . So What? It helps me understand. . .

The text. . . is like . . . because. . .

Curious Questioner
As the curious questioner, your job is to be inquisitive. You need to make the wondering that good readers do explicit for your group! That means that you have to record your questioning thinking as you read! As you read, listen for the questions you ask of the text. Record five or more questions you asked of the text below.

Word Wizard
As the Word Wizard, it is your job to log cool vocabulary words from the book your group is reading. You will create a personal dictionary for the group! Words chosen can be: *Spectacular * Important * Unfamiliar * Different * Puzzling * Curious *Favorites * Funny * Used in an unusual way * Interesting List a minimum of 5 interesting words! Word page # ___

Share at least three of your wonderings with you group during your literature circle! If your group members come up with their own wonderings, add them to your list!

Definition: Reason for Choosing:

Amazing Artist
As the Amazing Artist your job is to capture one of the scenes. Don’t worry about your artistic abilities! What’s important is that your group members “see” a movie in their mind as they read the book. You will draw at least one scene (item, setting, character, or other element of the reading) and note at least two more. During your literature circle meeting you will read these scenes or bits aloud to your group and discuss how the author helped you form mental pictures. I can visualize: on page _____ Details that help me “see” the words include:

Discussion Director
As the Discussion Director, it is your job to get the conversation about the book going and to keep it going (about the book). To generate some good book talk write down five or more questions after you read the selection. Avoid yes and no questions by beginning your questions with: why? what if . . .? how . . . ? which . . . would be best? which scene was . . .?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Passage Picker
As the Passage Picker, it is your job to read aloud parts of the story 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 2 passages. Some reasons for choosing passages to share might include: * Pivotal events * Informative * Descriptive * Surprising * Scary *Famous scene *Sad * Thought-provoking * Funny * Controversial * Confusing * Personally meaningful Passage Page _____ Paragraph ___

Choose your own role! You may be the artful artist, the passage picker, the word wizard, the discussion director, the curious questioner, or the creative connector! You decide what role you will play today!

Wild Card

Reason for choosing the passage

• Use role sheets. • Use role cards. • Use response journals. • Use a tape recorder. • Use nothing.

• Use role sheets. • Use role cards. • Use response journals. • Use a tape recorder. • Use nothing.

Professional Reading List: Literature Circles Books Allen, Janet. (2003). On the Same Page: Shared Reading Beyond the Primary Grades. York, ME: Stenhouse. Daniels, Harvey. (2002). Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in the Student –Centered Classroom. York, ME: Stenhouse. Day, Jeni Pollack, Spiegal, Dixie Lee, McLellan, Janet, and Valerie Brown. (2002). Moving Forward With LItearture Circles: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Literature Circles That Deepen Understanding and Foster a Love of Reading. New York, NY: Scholastic. Hill, Bonnie Campbell; Johnson, Nancy; and Katherine Schlick Noe (Eds.). (1995). Literature Circles and Response. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc. Hill, Bonnie Campbell; Noe, Katherine, and Nancy Johnson. (2001). Literature Circles Resource Guide. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc. Hill, Bonnie Campbell; Noe, Katherine, and Janine King. (2003). Literature Circles in Middle School: One Teacher’s Journey. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc. Noe, Katherine. (1999). Getting Started with Literature Circles. Norwood, MA: ChristopherGordon Publishers, Inc.

Rief, Linda. (1998). Vision & Voice: Extending the Literacy Spectrum. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Routman, Regie. (2000). Conversations: Strategies for Teaching, Learning and Evaluating. Portsmuth, NH: Heinemann. Samway, Katharine Davies, and Gail Whang. (1995). Literature Study Circles in a Multicultural Classroom. York, ME: Stenhouse. Articles Brabham, Edna Greene; Villaume, Susan Kidd. (Nov 2000). “Continuing Conversations about Literature Circles.” Reading Teacher, 54 (3), 278-80. Burns, Bonnie. (Oct 1998). “Changing the Classroom Climate with Literature Circles.” Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 42 (2), 124-29. Journal of

Camacho, Alexa; Davis Barbara; Davis, Laura, and Virginia Resta. (Spr 2001). “Novice Teachers Learn About Literature Circles through Collaborative Action Research.” Journal of Reading Education, 26 (3), 1-6. Daniels, Harvey. (May 2002). “Expository Text in Literature Circles.” Voices From the Middle, 9 (4), 7-14. Holly, Johnson. (Fall 2000). “To Stand Up and Say Something: ‘Girls Only’ Literature Circles at the Middle Level. New Advocate, 13 (4), 375-389. Martin, Jan. (Aug 1998). “Literature Circles.” Thresholds in Education, 24 (3), 15-19. Noll, Elizabeth. (Oct 1994). “Social Issues and Literature Circles with Adolescents.” Journal of Reading, 38 (2), 88-93. Short, Kathy; Kaufman, Gloria; Kaser, Sandy; Kahn, Leslie; and Kathleen Crawford. (May 1999). “Teacher-Watching”: Examining Teacher Talk in Literature Circles. Language Arts, 76 (5), 377-85. Websites Bertram, Gilliam (2002). “The Importance of Oral Language in the School Curriculum.” English Online. [Online] Available: http://english.unitecnology.ac.nz/resources/resources/effective_communication.html Brown, Mary Daniels. (Jan 2004). “Literature Circles Build Excitement for Books!” Education World: Curriculum: Literature Circles Build Excitement for Books! [Online] Available: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/ Candler, Laura. (Nov 2003). “Literary Lessons.” Teaching Resources. [Online] Available: http://home.att.net/~teaching/litcircles.htm Lamb, Annette. (Jan 2004). Literature Learning Ladders. [Online] Available: http://eduscapes.com/ladders/ Lopez, Janet. “Literature Circles.” Lit Site Alaska. [Online] Available: http://litsite.alaska.edu/uaa/workbooks/circlereading.html Noe, Katharine Schlick. Literature Circles Resource Center. [Online] Available: http://fac-staff.seattleu.edu/kschlnoe/LitCircles/ Walters, Johnny. (Summer 2003). “Virtual Circles: Using Technology to Enhance Literature Circles & Socratic Seminars.” Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 6 (2) [Online] Available: http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/sum2003/circles/index.html

• Work. • Circulate. • Cruise with a clipboard. • Take anecdotal notes. • Listen in to each small group. • Prasise good group talk/behavior. • Redirect off task behavior. • Evalute and assess students.