Circles were new for both myself and my students this year. As
we experienced them together we came to enjoy them immensely. I
have found them to be a wonderful way for the students to share
their ideas and show off their work. Literature circles are
definitely here to stay in my classroom.
gradually introduced my grade 2 students to Literature Circle
activities during the fall of 2005. I found the sheets
Passage Performer, and
Wacky Word Finder listed
by Mrs. Amanda Madden,
another project participant, to be very easy to use and the
instructions were perfect from my students. (Thanks Amanda) I
colour coded the sheets so that the students could at a glance
know what the activity was. (DD was orange, CC was green, SS was
gold, AA was white, PP was blue and WWF was pink)
with the Read Aloud Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge
Stories internet project) At the end of each chapter all the
students completed one activity sheet, then shared and presented
their work. Once they were familiar with each activity sheet the
students started to occasionally work on the sheets with our
Read Alouds, Shared Reading and Independent Reading stories as
follow up activites. The more they used them the more
comfortable they became with the expectations of each ‘job’ and
enjoyed working on their tasks.
I felt the students were ready to try literature circles on
their own. During the winter and spring months they worked in
groups of five or six. They had free choice from a selection of
four titles each time. The groups were never the same twice. The
reading level was not a factor as I usually had one selection
with a CD or cassette and students were always willing to read
with their group partners if needed.
to use popular picture books for most of our literature circles.
The students enjoyed a variety of books by;
Michael Bond, Paddington books
Paulette Bourgeouis, Franklin books
Phoebe Gilman, Jillian Jiggs books
activities were extremely well liked. I decided to let everyone
be the Artful Artist as they all enjoyed illustrating and
telling their favourite part. That left five jobs. When there
were six in a group I would double up on Cool Connector, Wacky
Word Finder or Super Story Teller. Once everyone had their sheet
completed the students would meet in a circle on the carpet.
During the presentations and discussion time a talking stick was
used to ensure that each person had an opportunity to speak and
be heard. The Discussion Director was in charge of the talking
stick. After each person presented their sheet, all members were
given the opportunity to say what the person had done well and
what he/she could do to improve the next time. By May the
comments were far better than even I could have come up with as
suggestions for improvement. It was a wonderful learning
experience for all.
the students created a bulletin board with Franklin book
characters bordering some of the activity sheets.
individual projects this year I introduced story chains, story
belts and story hats.
Hats were a
Grade 2 Newsletters for February and May about some Literature
were also popular.