Mr. O'Donnell's Fifth Grade Class
Boyle Road Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York


I chose a book for the students to read since it was their first exposure to Literature Circles. I chose The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This book was selected because the genre fit with my teaching strategies of using rich language in studentís writing.

Students used Literature Circle Role Sheets to help focus their thinking and extend their comprehension as well as the subsequent discussion. I also encouraged students to extend the discussion by using follow-up questions, asking partners to explain their comments, sharing connections, etc.

Each group would read 2 chapters a day. Students would rotate through their roles of: Summarizer, Vocabulary Finder, Question Writer, and Story Mapper. These roles and their written responses were kept in a folder designed by each student. As students finished their two chapters and written response they would meet in a literature circle discussion group and share their role sheet comments.

After the book was completed each person completed an illustration of a scene from the book with an accompanying caption. The following day, I presented the students with a list of Extension Projects for their consideration. These project ideas included: board game, bookmark, CD cover, journey map, postage stamp, and accordian book.


©  Susan Silverman - Literature Circles Extension Projects