Begin Literature Circles with book talks so students can choose books they want to read. Teachers can
then divide students into groups of 4 to 6 members to read their group's chosen book independently and then meet
together using roles to support their discussion.
Literature Circle Journals save teachers time by pulling together predetermined roles appropriate for
a leveled book. Reading A-Z also provides all the resources you need for
literature circles with ANY book. Read the Literature Circles Overview to learn specific protocols with a track-record of success.
Literature Circles White Paper
shows how literature circles are an important component of any comprehensive balanced literacy
instruction that embeds research-based strategies to meet the demands and rigor of the Common
Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Content-area Literacy in History, Social
Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
Each Literature Circle Journal serves as a time saver for teachers and can be easily added to and
subtracted from using the Student Resources Journal Pages for each role if students choose
different roles to perform with that book.
How to Use Literature Circle Journals for Books
The Literature Circles Overview explains the protocols for Literature Circles in
detail so that you can use Reading A-Z tools in successful Literature Circles.
One set for a fiction book and one for a nonfiction book, a Model Lesson and its annotated examples of Role Descriptions, Bookmarks, and Journal Pages help you teach students how to perform new roles.
Watch the How to Get Started with Literature Circles video.
Two different resources help you determine how well students are performing in literature circles. You use the
form to teach students how to monitor their own participation in groups. And you assess group participation yourself using an informal Observational Checklist
so that you can plan re-teaching or coaching.
The Student Planner
acts as the front and back cover for any Literature Circle Journal. It helps students stay organized and plan for each group meeting.
Literature Circle Resources for Your Students
These resources become the cornerstone of literature circles. Role Descriptions can be used for whole
class instruction on new roles or for re-teaching. Students use Bookmarks to jot notes as they read, and
then they apply their thinking in writing using the Journal Pages. Journal Pages become their reference tools
for when students participate in their group's discussion.
engages students in planning how they'll participate in groups and in monitoring their own participation.
Susan resides in Massillon, Ohio, where she recently retired after 30 years in public education. She has been a classroom teacher, principal, supervisor, and curriculum consultant. Currently, Susan is an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education at Ashland University. Susan continues to work as a consultant providing professional development focused on implementing a research-based comprehensive, balanced approach for literacy instruction in the classroom.
Action research in 4th through 8th grades using Reading A-Z books led to the development of the roles and protocols for successful implementation of literature circles. Teachers observed higher completion of assigned tasks, meaningful engagement in discussions, improved grades, and fewer discipline problems.
Barack Obama is a biographical text about the forty-fourth president of the United States of America.
Chronicling his life from birth until his historic election, the book educates readers on how Obama's life
experiences shaped his decisions and career path.
Marcus Loses Patches is about a little boy who loves playing video games. One day, he gets so wrapped up in his game that he forgets to feed his dog, Patches. When he finally gets around to feeding her, he realizes that he has forgotten to latch the gate and Patches has escaped.
For annotated examples of Role Descriptions, Bookmarks and Journal pages, please see
Literature Circle Tools For Teachers.
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