To begin today's lesson, I have students count off by 8's. I then ask them to move into groups based on those numbers.
I tell them that for the next two days this will be the group they will work with to prepare for a literature circle discussion. Students should be familiar with these discussions, as we spent quite a few days learning how to do them.
Groups 1 & 5 will be Discussion Director.
Groups 2 & 6 will be Illustrator.
Groups 3 & 7 will be Word Wizard
Groups 4 & 8 will be Literary Luminary
**The resources and philosophy behind this lesson can be found in Harvey Daniels's Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups. I highly recommend that you get this book and read it. Mr. Daniels changed the way I work with students in reading groups, and my lessons here do not do his work justice.
Students will have the remainder of this class period and all of the class period tomorrow to complete their discussion preparation assignment.
Though they are sitting next to people who are doing the same job they are, I explain that what I'd like to have happen is that they all work independently but bounce ideas off of each other and share what they're finding. I warn them that I do not want to see identical assignments. They are sitting in this group for inspiration and collaboration, not simply to copy.
At the end of Day 2, I do collect the discussion preparation assignments simply as a way to keep students on task and to see the level of work they've been able to accomplish.
Today students will be participating in a literature circle discussion. I group them up for the discussion by making sure each group is either students with the numbers 1-4 or 5-8. If everyone is present (ha!), it should be students right next to them in their assigned seats!
I allow students about 5 minutes to review their notes. We then discuss for about 30 minutes. The remainder of class time is spent using the rubric in our Lit Circle Packet to evaluate our own performance and write a paragraph that supports the score.
Since students have participated in a Literature Circle Discussion before, this assignment could be a summative assessment looking for mastery of speaking and listening skills in a small group.