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What is a literature circle?
Literature study provides opportunities to
discuss how authors create and craft quality
A literature circle is an opportunity to
participate in reflective discussions about
literature within supportive group
to develop personal responses to a text
to experience peer sharing of understandings,
interpretations, and comments about a text
to extend students' comprehension of literary
to involve students in discussion, negotiation,
compromise and decision-making in a group
to develop appreciation of authors' styles
to develop good reading strategies
• Each literature circle is comprised of your
group members who each have their own
• Your job is to look for a few important words in
your reading. If you find words that are puzzling or
unfamiliar, mark them down your page while you
are reading. Once you are done, you can look them
up in a dictionary and write down their definitions.
You may also find words in the reading that are
significant to the story. Mark these words too, and
be ready to point them out to the group. When
your circle meets, help members find and discuss
Your job is to prepare a summary of the
reading. Don’t tell the whole story, just focus
on the important parts. The other members
of your group will be counting on you to give
them a quick statement that tells about the
story (the summary), and the key points.
Your job is to choose a paragraph or sentences from the book to discuss
with your group. Your purpose is to help other students by spotlighting
5. important from the text
You can read parts aloud yourself, or ask another group member to read
them. Include your reasons for picking the paragraphs or sections you
did. Be sure to record the page number and paragraph. Come prepared
with a plan of discussion:
- Ask a question
- Determine the passages importance to the story
- Clear up something confusing
- Detail how this passage shows character development/ development
of setting/ or how it propels the plot.
Literary Luminary Example
Page # and
Reason for Choosing Plan for Discussion
Mrs Frank: We’re all of us hungry.
I see the children getting thinner
and thinner. Your own son Peter…
I’ve heard him moan in his sleep,
he’s so hungry. Any you come in
the night and steal food that
should go to them the children…
I chose this passage because it helps characterize and
further develop the character of Mrs. Frank and Mr. Vann
How does this part connect to the theme of
Ideas: people will do anything to survive, including
placing their own children in danger… is this a
natural reaction for everyone? Who wouldn’t put
their own children first?
This shows a side of Mrs. Frank we haven’t seen
before… is she a fundamentally better person than
Mr. Vann Dann?
Mr. Kraler: that’s the man. A couple
of weeks ago, when I was in the
storeroom, he closed the door and
asked me… how’s Mr. Frank? What
do you hear from Mr. Frank? I told
him I only knew where was a rumor
that you were in Switzerland…..
Your job is to write a list of questions that
your group might want to discuss about
this part of the book. The best questions
will come from your own thoughts,
feelings, and ideas about this section of
the book. You also need to write your own
answers to these questions.
• Your job is to find connections between the book
you are reading and the outside world. This
means connecting what you read with your own
life, to what happens at school or in the
community, to similar events at other times and
places, or to other people or problems. Once you
have shared your connection to this section of
the book, each member of your group will also
relate their own connection to the book,
although they may refer to a different passage.
Each literature circle will have one person
performing each job.