Literary Lenses Literature Circles: Meeting of the Masterminds

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
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13 pages
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This resource is a critical thinking adaptation of traditional literature circles. The twist is an added role play for which students assume the lens of a mastermind: a critic, (reader) responder, psychologist, historian, philosopher, or linguist. Each mastermind includes a literary lens-based thinking task to do independently. Once their individual thinking tasks are completed, the masterminds come together for a meeting that requires each member to represent and discuss. To encourage group discussion and participation, each mastermind role includes a unique group requirement.

A meeting of the masterminds can take place for ANY work! It is a perfect activity for a whole class reading selection, or it would work great for group novel studies (each group reads a different book).

An editable rubric is included that you can use to grade each student in his/her mastermind role. This rubric could also be used by each student for self-assessment and to set the expectation.

*This unit is compatible with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive and includes directions for each. Directions are included for saving your digital document.*

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Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.


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