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. Raz-Plus also provides all the resources you need for
literature circles with ANY book. Read the
Why Use Literature Circles
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.
Watch the How to Use Literature Circle Journals for Books video.
About the Teacher Resources
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
About the Student Resources
Watch the Literature Circle Resources for Your Students video.
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.
Susan K. Stewart, Ed.D.
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.
Why Literature Circles?
- Student Choice and Collaboration
- Independent Level Reading and Writing
- Engagement in Deep Discussion of Text
- Modeling and Support
Student Resources Tips
PlannerHelps students stay organized and plan for each Literature Circle meeting.
Role ToolsUse Role Descriptions, Bookmarks, and Journal Pages to help students perform their chosen roles for each reading selection.
Roles for Every Book
Skill Master Roles
Cause and Effect
Compare and Contrast
Main Idea and Details
Sequence of Events
For annotated examples of Role Descriptions, Bookmarks and Journal pages, please see Literature Circle Tools For Teachers.