This download of 18 PDFs contains all the files you need to enable students to have guided student-driven discussions about both fiction and nonfiction texts in your classroom…just add your texts!
Use these with novel studies and short stories as well as informational text in science, social studies, health class, and more! They are appropriate for a wide range of grade levels, since the difficultly is driven by the texts you choose. An excellent way to have organized, on-task student discussions about any content. A novel study will take three weeks. An article or short story would take about two class periods.
If you have any questions, please message me in TpT and I’ll be glad to help!
Summary of files included:
#1. Class Groups
You need a copy of this document for each class period you teach. Write student names in the spaces, which assigns them to both a group and a symbol.
#2. Role Sheets
I copy these five role sheets:
* Discussion Director
* Word Wizard
* Literary Luminary
with the evaluation sixth page on the back of each and every one. The front (job, role) is completed BEFORE the discussion. The back of the page is the evaluation of the discussion and is completed AFTER.
#3. Jigsaw Assignments
I use this page to “rotate the jigsaw”. Using a document camera and data projector, I write the date of the first assignment on the top row. (To avoid confusion, I often cover the rest with sticky notes or a paperclipped sheet of paper.) Everyone gets the correct role sheet according to his or her symbol. Students will read and complete the sheet based on that section of assigned reading. Sometimes this is done (or started) in class, and sometimes this is done as homework, depending on the group of students and the text. Then, the discussion (usually the next day’s class period) takes place, following the “Job Order” document.
#4. Job Order
During the Literature Circle discussion, this is projected on the screen via overhead, document camera, or laptop & data projector. I explain each student’s job in the discussion, for example I remind the Word Wizard to not just “read” the definitions but to engage their groups in a discussion of vocabulary in context as per the directions. Students discuss the text by completing the jobs in the order they are listed on this page: top to bottom.
#5. Reading Pace Contract
If you are using Literature Circles with a Novel, you’ll need to pace out the reading. Groups have the best discussions if all participants are in the same place in the novel at the same time.
I have provided this in both pdf to preserve formatting and Word doc so you can create and save your own contracts. For the novels I repeatedly teach, I type in the pacing and save the document. I have also had the student groups set the contract themselves, using the book and a blank contract.
#6. Literature Circle Member Evaluation
I’ve used this as part of the “Novel Assessment” on the last day on the contract for a novel. I take the group’s consensus about how prepared the student was and how well they can answer the questions (coped on the back) as a grade. This would not be the only grade: there would be questions based on the actual novel or a project or presentation based on the text. However, I include it here in case it is helpful for your classroom use.