Literature Circles. You've heard teachers talk about them, you've scoured the internet looking for good ideas, and yet you're still at a loss as to implementing them in your classroom.
Look no further!
I created this Literature Circle Unit in order to fulfill multiple aspects that I found important with literature circles. I use this for a unit where we read three different Holocaust Novels, however I reformatted it using general descriptions so you could apply it to any novels you choose.
Literature Circle Student Overview: This handout explains the process of the literature including what is due each night. It also includes a calendar which you can fill in based on your class's reading schedule and a daily chart you can customize to fit your class's needs. The following pages of the student overview contain graphic organizers for each group member to fill out in order to plan their daily reading assignments.
Literature Leader Letter: One difficulty with literature circles is monitoring every student's participation. One way I have dealt with that is by creating Leader Letters.
Literature Circle Daily Evaluations: Accountability was one aspect that I wanted to hit hard. Besides having my Leaders, I also have each student complete a daily evaluation. These serve as quick formatives because they allow me to check in with individual progress in the novel AND with group cooperation using an easy rating system. I have formatted these so 4 evaluation fit onto one sheet of paper!
Literature Circle Role Sheets: I created four new role sheets, based on the important elements of fiction. Discussion Director presents a debate question to the group and leads the group as they try to form a consensus. The Word Finder searches for new, important or effective words/phrases and asks discussion questions based on each word. The Conflict Chief discusses the current conflict in the novel and possible solutions. The Literary Device Detective finds and discusses literary devices used in the novel.
*I have created all role sheets to be easy-to-use graphic organizers, and have included my own Discussion Question starters to help students form their own questions.
Reader Response Journal Prompts: I have created this list based on years of researching different reader responses. I formatted this list to be categorized based on story elements, and re-worded the questions to provoke a more personal response.
For a detailed description on how I use this product in my own classroom, check out my blog entry: