My students LOVE literature circle units. Probably because they get to talk to each other in class and no one gets in trouble for it. I love them too despite the extra work it is for me. Literature circles provide student choice when it comes to selecting their reading and gives students an opportunity to participate in small group discussions on a regular basis. Students are able to lead their own learning in this setting and from my experience, they can go really far when given that chance.
This download features the two project options offered to students for the novel connect to a social issue (i.e bullying) literature circles and the two corresponding rubrics. It also includes the list of literature circle books that I used in sixth grade.