ERIC Number: EJ934077
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Reference Count: 31
Literature Study Groups: Literacy Learning "with Legs"
Parsons, Sue Christian; Mokhtari, Kouider; Yellin, David; Orwig, Ryan
Middle School Journal (J3), v42 n5 p22-30 May 2011
Literature study groups help promote critical thinking and improve reading skills. These groups, in general, are characterized by: (1) a flexible grouping--usually determined by a reader's choice of a given book at a given time; (2) participant-centered dialogue, where the teacher takes on the role of facilitator and expert participant rather than director of discussion; and (3) embeddedness in a strong, meaning-centered curriculum in which learners read and write copiously for real purposes. What makes such engagements particularly well-suited to middle grades learners is that literature studies are highly effective in developing reading ability, knowledge about literature, and critical and analytic thinking (Faust, Cockrill, Hancock, & Isserstedt, 2005). Moreover, they accomplish these things in such a way that students are aware of their own growth. Literature studies provide space for students' voices to be heard, valuing their meanings, concerns, and insights. This article describes research-based approaches to literacy study groups and provides suggestions for implementation.
Descriptors: Reading Improvement, Literacy, Reading Skills, Literature, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Middle School Students, Middle School Teachers, Teacher Role, Facilitators (Individuals), Reading Material Selection, Critical Thinking, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A