Literature circles are a staple in any secondary English classroom. I remember having literature circles when I was in high school, and my classroom isn’t any different. But I’m going to be completely honest with you. I did them last year (my first year teaching) and I did traditional literature circles. But truthfully, the students just weren’t that into it. I felt that their engagement was low, their level of conversation was minimal, and they just weren’t excited about it. And that upset me. I could’ve taken it two different ways:
They don’t like reading and they weren’t willing to put in the work I expected.
I needed to change my approach.
So this year, I decided on the latter – I needed to change my approach. Over the course of the summer, I did a lot of thinking. I changed my entire approach this year and really tried to focus on what engages the kids. What do they do outside of school? What do they love? What do they all have in common? And what did I come up with?
Social Media. Of course.
And I LOVE social media!
So I spent about a month designing and redesigning social media inspired literature circle roles. I used traditional lit. circle roles – Discussion leader, Literary Luminary, Character Sleuth, Rocking Researcher, etc, and changed them out to modern ideas that my students could easily identify with: Discussion #Boss, Literary Playlist, Character Selfie, Snapchat Story Summary, I Don’t Know: Google It, etc.
And not to toot my own horn or anything, but the kids LOVED it. Seriously. All of the discussions were insightful, impactful, and students were ENGAGED. On their own. Without me leading them in any direction. They were excited to share their work! They were so proud of what they’d done. I was really impressed with the quality of their work, their discussion that they had and the willingness students had to participate in discussion was awesome.
Isn’t that so awesome? I binded the ones that I wanted them to complete during this unit into a booklet (via the copy machine) and they’ve been working out of it ever since!
Check out a sneak peak into my journal:
It’s so much fun!
I just posted it into my TpT page, if you want to take a look at it. I’ve linked it below and that will tell you everything that is included in the bundle.
How do you incorporate literature circles into your classroom?