circles are student lead discussions that revolve around a book.
Students work in groups to discuss books of their choice, taking on
roles to help facilitate the work. Below are links that give
you information on literature circles, the components, and how to
begin to implement it in your own classroom.
Help you to teach-not merely check- comprehension.
Allows you to teach many facets of comprehension.
Encourage students to learn from one another.
Motivate students naturally.
Promote discussion more effectively than whole groups.
Moving Forward with Literature Circles
Typical Schedule for
Student preparation: ONGOING
The students prepare for literature circles by reading
agreed-upon chapters and writing a prediscussion entry
in their journals OR filling out a role sheet.
Teacher Directions/Minilesson (5-10 minutes)
Small-Group Discussion (15-25 minutes)
Journal Writing (5-10 minutes)
Group Debriefing (15-20 minutes)
Eleven Key Ingredients
1. Students choose
their own reading materials.
2. Small temporary groups are formed based on book
3. Different groups read different books.
4. Groups meet on a regular, predictable schedule to
discuss their reading.
5. Kids use written or drawn notes to guide both their
reading and their discussion.
6. Discussion topics come from the students.
7. Group meetings aim to be open, natural conversations
about the book.
8. Teacher serves as facilitator, not group member or
9. Evaluation is by teacher observation and student
10. A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room.
11. When books are finished, readers share with their
classmates, and then new groups are formed around new
Circles: Voice & Choice
to Use Literature Circles in the Primary Grades
Teachers in K-3 can
use literature circles!! You just need to make some
modifications for it to work in your classroom, such as:
-The books are
appropriate for emergent readers, such as wordless
books, big books, picture books, etc.
- To make sure
everyone understands the story, the books are often
read-aloud to the children.
- The children
read the whole book before coming to a group. This
is mainly because of the nature of the books which are
meant to be read in one sitting.
- Kids record
their responses in drawing or writing at their own
level. Kids can dictate to another person.
- Young children
need extra help remembering what they want to share.
Post-it notes help kids mark favorite parts of the book.
- Kids meet for
one single meeting to talk about one set of books. Then
new groups are formed around another set of readings.