When I think of literature circles, I think of an English classroom; reading a fiction book, or even reading a nonfiction book. I had never thought about literature circles used outside of an English classroom. To start with, a literature circle is a group of students gathered to discuss a piece of literature in depth. They are guided by student’s responses to the reading. The students have different responsibilities which are guided by the assigned role sheets. Literature circles are very beneficial to students. They get students interested in reading and they grant students with autonomy. They also help students have in depth discussions for smaller parts of the text or book. Lastly, students gain more of an understanding of the text.
This semester in my EDU 450 course, we participated in a literature circle where we used our text book. I found this to be so beneficial, it allowed us to understand in depth on how a literature circle works. When you participate in something you really gain a greater understanding of that subject. I will soon be a History or Social Studies teacher, so I began to look into ways to use literature circles in History.
I decided look at way to use a history textbook for the text. Depending on what type of textbook is used, we should be aware of the vocabulary within the text. If the textbook has difficult vocabulary, you as a teacher could decide if you wanted the students to read the text at home before the meet with their group or with their group. If the students read together as a group, they can help each other with vocabulary words. Making accommodations for each chapter and the roles sheets can be helpful for students. Chapters within a History text can cover a wide range of topics, making sure the role sheets benefit the chapter and further the students understanding. Building upon each chapter is essential to History, having the students build upon pervious chapters and building on their knowledge with connect the topics in history together.
One of my favorite role sheets is the connector. There are many ways students can connect the text to things. Having the students make connections allows them to have a greater understanding of the text and remember what they read better. Have the students connect to pervious historical events; or similar events in history. They could connect to things from their lives, other text, other classes, something they saw on the news, and much more. Having the students find a fascinating fact and having them connect. It is a fun way to have the students build upon things they find interesting. Literature circles can be useful in history classrooms and can be very beneficial for the students.