Using literature circles is another way to increase student comprehension. Even teachers of prescribed reading series should incorporate additional authentic literature in their teaching. This literature may be related to curricular units and must be high interest and at an appropriate reading level of students.
The jobs are: The Predictor, Maker of Connections, Great Summarizer, Curious Clarifier, Word Wizard, and the Very Good Visualizer. Of course, when reading in the real world each person must do each of the jobs. However, in literature circles each person specializes on a particular job each day (we switch jobs daily). This gives students additional practice using the strategies and ensures that they know what each of the strategies is. Each card includes a definition.
For additional information on literature circles, I recommend the following:
In the Middle by Nancy Atwell
This is more about Reader’s Workshop than about literature circles but it does give you fantastic ideas about how to develop reading comprehension and interest in literature. I highly recommend it.
Litcircles.org gives some additional information about how to set up literature circles.
Somehow the Literature Circle name intimidates some teachers. I like to think of them as Oprah’s Book Club for kids. It’s really just about enjoying literature with peers while the teacher helps facilitate some discussion surrounding the book.
Have any literature circle tips to share?