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Engaging Developmental Readers through Literature Circles

Presented by Eileen DeLuca & Renee Hester Edison State College


Florida Literacy Coalition Conference, 2013 May 8-10, 2013

Literature Circles is a method that encourages students to


Choose their own reading materials Form temporary groups based on books of choice Meet on a regular, predictable schedule Use written or drawn notes to guide reading and discussion Have open, natural conversations about books Engage in self and peer evaluation
(Adapted from Daniels, 2002, p.18)

Supportive Trends
Adult Book Clubs are Burgeoning Publishers Support

Internet Book Clubs


Oprahs Book Club Young Adult Literature is Blooming National Literacy Standards endorse Literature Circles Abundant Professional Literature and Research Base
(Adapted from Daniels, 2002, pp. 3-9)

Sample Schedule and Procedures


1st Day of Class Discuss Literature Circles (handouts provided)

Procedures Role Sheets Novels Project

2nd 4th Classes


Discuss Literature Circles (handouts provided) Preview Novels
Bring copies of each for students to preview

5th Class
Choose Novel (book selection form)
Select two Tally them & group students according to novel choice
4/5 to a novel They may not all get their 1st choice

Provide Instructional Assistance in Lab with novel titles and number of each neededdates & times the classes will arrive

Example: Book Selection Form


Name______________________________
Directions: Read the short description of each book. On the lines below, WRITE the title of the novel youd like to read. Be sure to write to write your 1st and 2nd choice! 1. ________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________

7th Class
Check out novels from our Reading/English Lab
Take entire class to Lab Return to class to plan the next 5 weeks
Students Complete Planning Sheet (white)
Divide novel into 5 weeks may need assistance(?).

Role Sheets (pastel colored) Choose 5 role sheets


Put name, date, week & assigned chapters on each role sheet

Transfer Roles for each week to Planning Sheet

Turn in Planning Sheet (white)


Make 4 copies for subsequent weeks

Turn in ALL Role Sheets except Week 1 (pastel colored)

Checking out novels

Planning

Planning

Planning

9th Class
1st Literature Circle
30 45 minutes
Subsequent literature circles will be roughly 15-25 minutes

Once students are in their groupswalk them through


Examples of each role (how to proceed/start) Walk around and assist as needed (reluctant students)

Complete Group Record Sheet (white - planning sheet)


Go over the two questions & group participation chart

* Collect Planning Sheet (white) & disperse the next weeks role sheets (pastel colored)

Literature Circles in Action

Project for Literature Circles: Advertisements for Novels

Spring 2011 n=29

Fall 2011 n=40

Spring 2012 n=26

Fall 2012 n=31

Spring 2013 n=24

What did you like best about participating in Literature Circles?


Being involved with a group and communicating with others. I got to understand more what I was reading, and being able to express our feelings with others makes you open up your mind to what we read. I liked the fact that we were able to actually discuss the novel rather then take a test on it. I just found it to be a much easier and fun way of reading.

What did you like best about participating in Literature Circles?


I personally like this better than taking tests because while taking tests it becomes overly stressful, and you just don't learn anything. With literature circles you actually have fun while learning It helps me discuss about the books and what I don't understand sometimes my group explains it to me

What did you like best about participating in Literature Circles?


I really enjoyed how it made reading more interactive, and not so textbook boring. In my opinion, the role sheets make people more involved with the book and understand it more! I like that we broke it down week by week. I liked discussing my interpretation of the novel with my class mates and hearing their point of views on it.

What did you like best about participating in Literature Circles?


I enjoyed it because it felt good that I wasn't doing all the work for once. Also, seeing my fellow classmates sharing their ideas about the book and its events. What I liked best about participating in literature circles is the fact that I get to listen to others point of view of the story. Being able to put others opinions and how they picture the story compared to your own is impressive and makes the story more interesting.

What would you change or improve about Literature Circles?


Most Common Response: Nothing. If everyone in the group has read they can stay in the group for the day, if they chose not to read they have to take a test right then while everyone else is doing literature circles. Probably the only thing I would change would be, the question on the back. I like how you asked us to make a connection with the reading, but sometimes I felt it was repetitive, and I got a little lazy with my responces. So maybe just switch up the back question every now and then.

Literature Circles Activity


Stargirl pp. 1-12 Forged by Fire pp. 1-19 Barcode Tattoo pp. 3-21 The Breadwinner pp. 7-18 The Giver pp.1-19

References
Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs and reading groups. Markham, Ontario: Pembroke Publishers Ltd. Johnson, N, & Schlick-Noe (1999). Getting started with literature circles. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon.