1. Know what you want.
My top goal for students is to experience reading a book in a way they’ve never encountered.
- I want them to interact with it, discuss it, think about it because it’s fun and because someone else brought up something they hadn’t noticed.
- I want them to enjoy reading AND to really get something from it other than being lost in a good story.
- I want them to agree and disagree with each other.
- I want them to think deeply about the novel and ask higher level thinking questions.
- I want them to connect the novel to something in their lives.
Through successes and failures, I persevered. I finally developed a Literature Circle Packet to keep kids on track and focused during their reading and their meetings, and this assists them in connecting with the book and having points to discuss.
2. I want my students to learn how to work with each other in a polite, respectful way.
3. I want students to learn to listen to each other.
4. I want my students to transfer their experience of reading during literature circles to their independent reading.
5. I want the experience to be special and memorable. I want them to beg for a second or third literature circle session.