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ERIC Number: ED336746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making Meaning Together through Literature Circles.
Hess, Mary Lou
A special needs teacher and a fifth-grade teacher developed a literature-based reading program based on the principle that no child, particularly the unskilled, should be excluded from a literature group. The program places a high value on talk and uses heterogeneous grouping of students. Students in the class choose the novels they wish to read and the teachers relate intriguing details of the plots and summarize the beginning of the novels. Students are formed into groups of six to eight according to the novels they choose and are responsible for discussion. Discussion begins each day with a summary provided by one of the students. After discussion, students write entries in their reading logs. While one group discusses, other groups listen to tape recordings of portions of the novel or of their own discussions for (self-evaluation), engage in independent reading, or work on illustrations of a scene from the novel. The teacher's role is to support the functioning of the group, not to dominate or dictate. The most successful discussions are ones in which teachers and students work collaboratively to make meaning. Able readers model reading strategies for less able readers, who contribute astute observations about plot. Literature circles provide students with an opportunity to use talk to question, to respond, and to reflect: the teachers assist the students as they share their reading, compare their interpretations, and learn from each other. (A literature circle discussion checklist is enclosed; 14 references and a list of 10 children's books are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A