Academic journal article Childhood Education

Literature Circles: A Community of Readers ... and Writers

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Literature Circles: A Community of Readers ... and Writers

Article excerpt

In this flexible, successful reading activity, Nancy Appleton from North Cumberland Middle School in Cumberland, Rhode Island, asks her 8th-graders to choose a novel, respond in writing to their books, and then share their ideas each week with a small group of classmates.

Selected titles are:

Avi, Devil's Race Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting Danziger, The Cat Ate My Gym Suit McDaniel, When Happily Ever After Ends Reiss, The Upstairs Room Roth, Trapped! Taylor, The Cay Zindel, The Pigman

Groups of five or six students read the same novel and work together for a period of four to six weeks.

Weekly Procedure

Monday-Wednesday: individual readings and notes. As students read, they write thoughts, reactions, connections, predictions, and questions on Post-It notes and attach them to the appropriate pages. This keeps the reader focused for discussion.

Thursday: group sharing and discussion of comments and questions. The teacher acts as a facilitator, guiding discussion and lending support as needed. All students prepare a one-page written response.

Friday: presentation of written responses to group. …

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