I designed this literature circle project for my AP English Language & Composition course in lieu of a final, written examination; however, it can be used throughout the year at any point to hone their attention to structure, style, rhetoric, and much more. It can also be used multiple times to see if students make progress over the course of the class.
It combines independent reading (as we are working on other things during the project) with seminar-style discussions where students are the sole facilitators and moderators of discussion. Teacher just monitors and sits in on group discussions.
The assignment is perfect for student groups of 3-5. It gives students the choice of book (from an approved list, which I did include), autonomy of reading schedule (provided as well), 5 role sheets to choose from, as well as a multimedia presentation to culminate the entire process and experience. Each student also individually assesses themselves, their group members, and the process as a whole in a written reflection.
I group students based on book choice so that they are working on texts that are of interest, and I set this up through Google Forms so that its more anonymous and honest. Each week for 4-5 weeks, students have meetings, or mini seminars, that extend for approximately 45-50 minutes.
The roles are as follows:
Language Enricher/ Rhetorical Master
Travel/ Historical Researcher
I have had very positive feedback from all students for this project, and they go above and beyond with it. I have tweaked it to ensure that all role sheets are applicable to each selected text.