Monday, January 14, 2013

Literature Circles

Jason's class has joined ours in reading a half-dozen terrific books.

The middle schoolers are divided into groups of four. Each of these is called a Literature Circle. We spent a little time in the first week back passing around seven books, giving a little background, the kids taking some time to get familiar with the options. Then, we asked each student to rank their favorites, one through four.

I'm happy to report that everyone got at least their third choice. Most students got their first or second. These are the groups.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie: Alexandra, Danny, Jianmarco, Jonathan.
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury: Henry, Laurea, Lee, Trent.
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell: Aristea, Denali, Isobel, Margaret.
Life As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer: Cory, Matthew, Melissa, Taylor.
My Brother Sam Is Dead, Collier & Collier: Evan, Henry, Mike.
Red Scarf Girl, Ji-Li Jiang: Kaeli, Lily, Noah, Saul.

When the circles gather, each member takes on a different role. The Questioner makes sure that the group composes and answers thick questions about what has taken place in the book and what might happen next. The Artist creates a visual accompaniment to the day's excerpts. The Scribe gets both words and images into the circle's Google Doc. The Facilitator keeps the trains running on time. The circles have convened twice so far; generally, they will meet three times a week

We expect a final hoo-rah of some kind. Each group will create a final project with help from another SK faculty member. More on these stories as they develop.

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