Grade 9 English: Unit Three – Literature Circles

No matter how many times I approach literature circles, there’s always something that I want to change. That’s part of what keeps us on our toes as educators. Never being happy with how things are running, and always accepting that there might be an even better way to do it.

In 2018, I was sure I knew how to run them in the only way that made sense:

Of course, by 2020, I had rethought everything, and knew the strongest way forward to engage students with literature circles:

And now, here we are. Surely there are many more revisions in my future, but this package lays out effective calendars, breaks down day plans, and includes all required assignments.

What’s the best way forward? For you, the answer might be something in between. What matters is we are engaging our students with these tasks because the use of literature circles in high school and elementary English classrooms encourage students to take ownership over their own education by providing them with choice for both what they read, and how they choose to interact with their text.

The English Course Pack

This unit is part of the Full English Course Pack that contains every assignment, slide deck, assessment, worksheet, and evaluation required to run a complete high school English class. As always, these resources are free for non-commercial public school use.

If you would like to say thanks, consider buying me a coffee. But that is neither required, nor expected.

Unit Three: Literature Circles

3.01: Introducing Literature Circles

  • Introduces literature circles
  • Provides full unit calendar
  • Demonstrates unit overview

3.02: Literature Circle Book Choice

  • Explains the importance of choice
  • Demonstrates how to honour self-selection
  • Provides a book-choice graphic organizer template

3.03: Sustained Reading, and Lines that Stand Out

  • Explores the importance of sustaiend reading
  • Incorporates a running-reading-record
  • Establishes best practices for annotating readings

3.04: Preparing for a Literature Circle

  • Explores the different sections of a literature circle
  • Provides exemplars for all roles
  • Develops a way to move from one role to the next

3.05: Hosting a Literature Circle

  • Explains how to ensure an effective literature circle takes place in the classroom
  • Highlights different approaches to student-led-discussions
  • Provides a timed lesson plan

3.06: The Roundtable Discussion

  • Includes three different roundtable question and graphic organizer options
  • Demonstrates how to ensure all students are welcomed to the center of the discussion
  • Provides a rubric to evaluate oral-communication, and textural support

3.07: Evaluating a Text

  • Honours student’s work and ideas
  • Provides valuable feedback for future courses
  • Creates a record of recommendations to support purchasing decisions

English Course Packs: Full Units

Unit One: Literacy Skills
Unit Two: Poetry
Unit Three: Literature Circles
Unit Four: Creative Writing & Choose Our Way Tales (In Progress)
Unit Five: Essay Writing (In Progress)
Unit Six: Culminating Tasks (In Progress)

Written by…

Michael Barltrop has been teaching since 2006, integrating comics, video games, and TTRPGs into his classroom. He has been the head of English, Literacy, Special Education, and Assessment & Evaluation and Universal Design. Feel free to reach out through Twitter @MrBarltrop!

Feel free to support the website hosting by buying him a coffee or sharing this post on facebook, twitter, or whatever social media is trending these days.

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