A Literature Circle is an effective, research-based literacy strategy that provides opportunites for purposeful classroom talk. With a focus on genuine, thoughtful conversations about good books, students meet in small groups to read, discuss and respond to the texts they are reading. As they put forward their thoughts and opinions, and listen to those of their peers, they become active readers who are practicing effective reading strategies and creating new understandings.
Helping students engage in the kind of purposeful talk that supports learning may require careful scaffolding.
Adapted from an excellent article by Heidi Mills and Louise Jennings (2011) Talking about Talk: Reclaiming the Value and Power of Literature Circles.
You can find more about getting started with Literature Circles in the Reading section of the Literacy Today.
Give Them a Hand: Promoting Positive Interaction in Literature Circles from ReadWriteThink provides practical suggestions to help students improve their participation in literature discussions.
Let’s Talk About Stories is another resource from ReadWriteThink. In these lessons, students participate in partner, small group and whole-class discussions to respond to a text.