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Literature Circles: Part Three

Literature Circles – Part Three (of Three)

Please answer this question: Have you connected with a good book lately? If so, which one?

Participating in a book group, such as class literature circles, takes three main components before you even begin to talk: Reading to the goal, preparing by thinking about what you’ve read, and a willingness to consider what others have to say. At the beginning of the class during the Lit Circle unit, my students prepare to discuss their novels. Each student is responsible for filling out a short form containing three sections: Questions, Reflections, and Connections

Questions: The first section has space for them to enter five or six open-ended questions, with a minimum of three. These questions become the basis for the discussions. When the entire group is done with all three parts they begin talking.

Reflections: The second section has space for a paragraph where the students offer opinions and thoughts about what they’ve read since the last class. They write about the characters they love and hate…the parts that bothered them…or emotions conjured up during the reading.

Connections: The third section of the preparation paper has space where the students record associations they made during the reading. In this last part, they write down how the story connects to their lives or someone they know, if it reminded them of another text, or perhaps something in the news.

Good readers reflect and connect while they read. Most of us do this naturally now, but it is something that some of my seventh grade students need to learn to help them with comprehension. When I started working at Stafford, I was fortunate to have the amazing Kate Messner be the other 7th grade teacher. She has taught me so much, including introducing me to Literature Circles.

So, again, here’s a question for you:
Have you connected with a good book lately? If so, which one?


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