As educators, we have seen the success that comes from having students independently apply comprehension skills and strategies to text, and then come together with their peers to discuss, review, and reflect upon their learning. This popular method of analyzing literature (often referred to as literature circles or book clubs) has truly impacted the way students engage with literary texts.
What are Literature Circles?
Literature Circles are literary reading comprehension groups, in which students collaborate to construct meaning around a text.
Each student in the circle has a role to analyze the text for its relevance to their specific strategy. Every Literature Circle session allows students to share and evaluate information as well as continue the inquiry process.
There are six roles that allow students to use different comprehension skills:
•The Summarizer (Summarizing Strategy): Identifies the key events from the reading and develops a summary that helps the group focus on the main details.
•The Travel Tracer (Sequencing): Follows the action of the text. Tracks place in the narrative arc and identifies how key events influence plot development.
•The Word Wizard (Context Clues and Using Key Words): Looks for important words and phrases and identifies how these words are critically significant to understanding the reading.
•The Questioner (Monitoring and Questioning): Identifies the big ideas represented in the text and crafts questions to facilitate discussion.
•The Literary Luminary (Inferencing): Identifies clues in the text that help develop author’s message or theme.
•The Researcher (Making Connections): Connects events in the text with world resources to help group gain understanding of context of text and build background knowledge.
This download comes with instructions for implementation, a student discussion notes sheet, and a rubric for assessment.