American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle

American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
American Revolution Literature Circles ; middle school ; differentiated ; bundle
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American Revolutionary War Literature Circles

Ever wonder how to differentiate instruction, teach leveled reading, have differentiated assessments and do it in a classroom with mixed learning abilities?  Literature Circles may be the answer.  

My specialty is historical fiction.  My husband is a social studies teacher, so it is just fun for my to find ways to teach cross curricular, while meeting rigorous state standards and differentiating instruction.  I have a literature circle assignment that is AWESOME.

This literature circle unit is focusing on the American Revolution and deeper thinking question skills.  The unit, in its entirety, will take four weeks.  Each historical fiction book is differentiated with specific, leveled questions and vocabulary.  Each book is divided into four sections and follow the same objectives for each assignment.  It is over 50 individual pages and slides.  Each novel is separated in a zip file for planning organization.  All of these books can be used, or they can be used individually. 

Books: 

Johnny Tremain, by Ester Forbes

My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln and Christopher Collier

Guns for General Washington, by Seymour Reit

The Fighting Ground, by Avi

Dear America:  Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart; The Winter of Red Snow, by Kristina Gregory

Each novel has a packet (10 pages) to follow along with the reading as well as ten tier two vocabulary words (two pages). The book assignments are divided into quarters.  Johnny Tremain, a higher leveled reading book, has a packet with a much more demanding and rigorous work load.  I use this novel to differentiate instruction with my “Honors” level students attempting this novel.  I encourage my struggling readers to try Guns for General Washington or The Fighting Ground.

Please see the detailed description below:

Literature Circle Materials:

All you need to conduct literature circles are in this unit as well.  Groups of 3-5 students, per book, work the best.  Ideally, the groups would all be four students.  There are pdf files for the Book Sign Out Sheet, Book selection form (student can rate books 1-5 of what they would like to read after a quick novel presentation), an activity worksheet (creative assignment) and exit ticket.  There is also an editable calendar to correspond with the tasks.  A PowerPoint presentation gives you role definitions and task cards to print and use to set up your literature circles.  Also included are sheets for “Literature circle Notes” and “Literature Circle Checklist” to use in each individual literature circle for accountability.  Students are responsible to obtaining roles, keep notes of their meetings, discussing passages and questions, and a clear description of who does what.  All students have an active role in each discussion.

Deeper Thinking Questions:

In addition, this unit comes with tools for teaching question types and deeper thinking.  Knowledge, Comprehension, Synthesis, Analysis, Application and Evaluation questions are defined, practiced and then student created.  These are broken into six mini lessons, or bell work.  There are task cards in a PowerPoint which have the question types for the literature circle.  There is also a chatterbox included to use for differing questions during literature circles.  Instructions for making the chatterbox are also included.

Assessment:

There is an individual multiple choice assessment for each book offered in a hard copy or as a google form. There is also a final presentation assignment for each group.  The assignment is broken into five equal parts, aligning to the social studies frameworks.  Each student in a group will write three paragraphs in an individual document and create 4 slides in a show in a shared Google Slideshow.   There is a two-page pdf explaining the project in its entirety with a one-page rubric.  In addition, there are five individual instructions with graphic organizers and specifications for each slide.

Final Presentation topics include: 

  • cause an effect

  • noting differing political afflictions

  • key stakeholders and interesting issues

  • evaluating courses of action

  • defining and explaining historical fiction.

Vocabulary Assessment:

There are also 5 Google Forms vocabulary quizzes, one for each book.  (Please note – a Google account and valid email address for ALL students will be needed to assign the quizzes)

Teacher Directions

American Revolutionary War Literature Circles

Book Talk:  Distribute “Book Selections” pdf file.

Introduce each book by reading the summary, giving any outside information, and reading level.  I allow students to browse the books, then make their selection.  They can choose from 1-5 (1 being the book they’d most like to read and 5 being the book they’d like least to read).

I encourage my higher level students to attempt Johnny Tremain.  The book is a higher reading level and the corresponding packet is much more demanding.  Then, I recommend My Brother Sam is Dead.  I recommend Dear America for girls not necessarily interested in historical fiction because usually they really like the book and it changes their mind.  I recommend The Fighting Ground and Guns for General Washington for my struggling readers.

Then, assign books.  I try to keep four students per group.  However, with 5 students, I just divide the role of “Materials Manager”; one student writing and one student organizing materials in their literature circle roles.

Assign literature circle groups.

Books: 

Johnny Tremain, by Ester Forbes

My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln and Christopher Collier

Guns for General Washington, by Seymour Reit

The Fighting Ground, by Avi

Dear America:  Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart; The Winter of Red Snow, by Kristina Gregory

Distribute books, Literature circle text packets and text vocabulary lists.  Each novel (except Johnny Tremain) has a packet (10 pages) to follow along with the reading as well as ten tier two vocabulary words (two pages). The book assignments are divided into quarters.  Have the students fill in due dates.  Go over expectations for literature circle days.

Use the “Book sign out” to keep track of your books and create a bin or box for each book in the classroom to keep materials handy.  In the beginning, I print out the PowerPoint with all the task cards out.  I laminate them all and make one envelope for each table.  I staple the roles and responsibilities on the front of the envelope and keep the task cards, checklist and chatterbox inside the envelope.  I keep the Literature Circle Notes, extra copies of novel materials and exit slips in each novel’s individual box/bin.  However, you can organize this as is most convenient for you.

Then, I begin using the “Question Types” worksheet to teach different question types.  I start with the basic knowledge questions.  Here, I define this type of question then give some knowledge type questions for the students to answer.  Then, I use the online fruit machine to assign a topic for students to create their own questions.  Then, they can write their questions and ask other students for responses.  At the end, we all share our questions and responses.

I repeat this lesson five more times, using the leveled questions and examples.  Then, all of these question types are used in their literature circles.

Literature Circle Days:

Focused team leader will assign everyone in their group a role on the “Literature Circle Checklist” sheet.  The material manager will fill in the “Literature Circle Notes” to be collected at their end of class.   The Energizer will be the first to answer and call on other students.  The Inspirer will check work for completion and choose questions.

After roles are assigned, the Inspirer will note students prepared in the group.  Materials Manager will write down the group’s progress.  Everyone will take out their packets and focused Leader will go through the packets reading all the questions and leading discussion.  Then, Inspirer will choose the task cards needed for the day and chatterbox (as determined by the teacher).  Materials Manager will write each question discussed, as not to repeat.  Students will then “Look forward” and set their goals for next literature circle.  Exit slips will be distributed and collected to use on future lessons.  This will be repeated each day where literature circles take place.

I also give students one computer day a week to work on their final presentations.  These should be discussed and assigned during the first week of reading so students are able to work on this simultaneously.  After each group decides on “who’s doing what role” for the final presentation, I work with each group completing Part One and go over the specific task.  I repeat this for each part of the final project.

As the month moves along, I will have completed introducing the six question types, students will have finished their books and final projects.  Then, the projects can be presented at the end.  There is a final 20 question quiz on Google Forms for each book.  Please note, you and ALL students will have to have Google accounts to access these quizzes.

Please see the detailed description below from website:

Part 1:

Two vocabulary words

Vocabulary enrichment

“Before reading” question

Close reading text excerpt with questions

TDQ (text dependent question)

Figurative language activities

Deep thinking discussion stem

Part 2:

Two vocabulary words

Passage – close read with questions

Partner questions

Part 3:

Three vocabulary words

Comprehension questions

Objective summary

Partner questions

Part 4:

Three vocabulary words

Six think/pair/share questions

Total Pages
100 pages
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
1 month
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$39.00
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