Before the literature circles take shape, we'll need to prepare for them. In order to prepare for the group meetings, students will need to bring a completed set of discussion boxes to each group meeting. Today, I passed out their first set of discussion boxes that are due for their first meeting.
On the back of the first set, I have an in class model that students watch me complete, using the read aloud "Iqbal." In the following lesson section, students will listen to the story, follow along with the model, and then be prepared to complete their own set of discussion boxes.
Iqbal is a very sad yet heartwarming story about a child laborer in Lahore, Pakistan. "Iqbal" is based on the life of a real boy, Iqbal Masih. The story is a fictionalized account of his experience working in a carpet factory. Kids deeply attach to this narrative. Iqbal is a hero and an underdog. It also shares Asia setting with the other novels used in this unit.
I read aloud the first chapter to kids to shape the mini-lesson. I model using this story and fill out my own copy of the discussion boxes.
I model my thinking as I read aloud, as well as track all of the characters that I'm introduced to. Another important aspect of the discussion boxes would be the process of creating open-ended discussion questions.
I explain that any time you are wondering something, you can almost always turn that wondering into an open-ended discussion question. I always say, the best questions don't have one right or wrong answer. They are open ended.
After watching me model the process, students have time to complete their Discussion Boxes, Set 1 & In Class Model in class, which will prepare them to meet in literature circle groups for the their first meeting. Anything not finished in class will be homework. I circulate and monitor for questions.