My primary teaching goal in literature classes is to convince students to accept the invitation to read the books. Willian J. Broz
Literature circles, sometimes called book clubs, offer students choice and voice in the Secondary ELA classroom. Students set their reading goals, discussion agendas and engage in conversations about the books they have read. Book clubs are highly engaging and can be adapted to suit the needs of all students.
Amber Coones discusses the way she sets up literature circles in her English Language Arts classrooms. See the books she used here.
Some features of literature circles:
Source: Harvey Daniels 2002
Secondary Cycle Two students use elements of author/producer’s craft to make mening of The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson in their literature circle group.
Secondary Cycle Two students discuss Essex County by Jeff Lemire in their literature circle group.
Some things to look for:
Select texts that can support learning goals:
Read about teacher-blogger Jenny Murphy’s experiences with book club discussion groups.
The Literature Circles Resource Center web site is based on the premise that there is no one way to do literature circles. It is worth checking out.
The Teaching Resources website created by teacher Laura Candler provides an excellent description of various literature circle models.
Classroom Book Clubs offers information on setting up book clubs with a flexible, relaxed approach.
"Learning to Question to Wonder to Learn" by Jamie McKenzie provides additional ideas for using essential questions.
The Quebec Reading Connection website offers information on texts and resources such as bookwebs.