Needing something to connect today's student to To Kill a Mockingbird? This PDF file is filled with a collaborative, student-centered reading strategy that invites students to make choices, assume roles, and share with others: literature circles.
What are literature circles? They are small groups of students reading the same book. In these groups, students take roles for a given section of text and then the group discusses that section. It is a simple strategy that packs a big punch!
In this download, I have included a list of books that have similar themes or storylines to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. These modern-day books can be read post-reading of the novel (what I do in my 9th grade class) or in conjunction. I have been really successful with this assignment because the book choices are all high-interest but with varied reading levels, character backgrounds, and genres, allowing all students to find at least one that they can connect with. These books are always a hit with my 9th graders, and they spur terrific discussion!
Also included in this download are detailed teacher directions and five different role sheets. The role sheets provided are based on the five reading strategies that I have found to be the most beneficial to readers of all levels, higher and lower than grade level. The roles are the "Connector", the "Tester", the "Fortune Teller", the "Designer", and the "Debater". These roles access different learning styles and provide all learners with an opportunity to connect with the text.