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Literature Circles

Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups

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What do we know about literature circles now that we didn't understand eight or ten years ago? What new resources and procedures can help teachers organize their classroom book clubs better? What are the most common pitfalls in implementing student-led discussion groups? And getting beyond the basics, what do mature or "advanced" literature circles look like?

In this thoroughly revised and expanded guide, you will find new strategies, structures, tools, and stories that show you how to launch and manage literature circles effectively. Advanced variations are explored and include alternatives to role sheets and flexible new guidelines for their use.

The second edition includes:

  • four different models for preparing students for literature circles using response logs, sticky notes, and newly designed role sheets;
  • dozens of variations on the basic version of student-led bookclubs;
  • new models and procedures for primary, intermediate, and high school grades;
  • new materials for assessing and grading literature circles;
  • an inventory of common management problems and solutions;
  • new scheduling patterns for group meetings and reading time;
  • ideas for using literature circles with nonfiction texts across the curriculum;
  • research on literature circles, including correlation with increased achievement on standardized tests;
  • an explanation of how literature circles match with the national standards for literacy education.

With detailed examples provided by twenty practicing teachers, Harvey Daniels offers practical and concrete suggestions for each aspect of book club management and proven solutions for problems that arise.

About the Author(s)

Harvey "Smokey" Daniels received all of his degrees--B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.--from Northwestern University, which finally urged him to leave campus and get a real job.

Table of Contents

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1. Welcome to Literature Circles
2. A Closer Look: Literature Circles Defined
3. Ancient History and Current Research
4. Looking into Literature Circles
5. Getting Started: Preparing and Orienting Students
6. Forming, Scheduling and Managing Groups
7. Books and Materials
8. Primary-Grade Applications
9. Intermediate-Grade Applications
10. Middle and High School Applications
11. Teachers and Parents as Readers
12. Assessment: Record Keeping, Evaluation, and Grading
13. Nonfiction Literature Circles: Moving Across the Curriculum
14. Troubleshooting and Problem Solving
Appendix A: Literature Circle Workshops for Teachers and Parents
Appendix B: Research on Best Practice Cluster Schools
Appendix C: Book Lists: Literature Circle Favorites

Product Details

Media: 272 pp/paper
Year: 2002
Item No: WEB-0333
ISBN: 978-157110-333-8
Grade Range: K-12