I’ve really wanted to try Literature Circles in the classroom. While I know that my students are young — especially the Grade 1 students — I think that it’s important for them to gain a real appreciation of books, and that’s only going to happen when they have the chance to truly converse about them.
After trying out a Skype Literature Circle with @jgriffith2, I gained a little more confidence in using this same format with the rest of the class. During the last round of literacy centres, my students worked in groups to prepare for their Literature Circle. They all took on different roles: from the artist, to the summarizer, to the discussion director.
Since this was something new for the majority of students, I decided to start simply. All of the groups used Mortimer by Robert Munsch as their first Literature Circle book. We used this book for a number of different drama and language activities already, so the students were familiar with it, and they were excited to talk about it too.
This week was the true test: the Literature Circles started. To help with accountable talk, I had my students record their discussion using the Audio Memos App on the iPad. I was thrilled with what I heard. Below are two examples of our first Literature Circles:
I love how the students are interacting with each other, and starting to respond to what others are saying too. I can’t wait to see how these discussions develop with more Literature Circle opportunities. Yippee!! The class did it!
Have you tried Literature Circles with your class? How have they gone? How did you set them up? It would be great if we could share our ideas here!