Saturday, April 23, 2011

Books for Literature Circles

The right book can make all the difference for literature circles. I certainly can't go out and buy the latest and greatest titles all the time, but our bookroom has a nice selection of titles. Some are newer, some are older. Here are some that my students are enjoying.

Frindle: A favorite of multiple groups! This book works well because it is engaging, and yet easy to read. Changing character emotions and attitudes are easy to see.

As groups have finished this, some have wanted to move on to other Andrew Clements books, like The School Story and The Report Card.

Bunnicula: This book has great word-of-mouth appeal among kids. As they have shared their activities or looked at displays, I've heard quite a few impromptu discussions. Do check in with groups as they are reading this, as the narration is a little tough for some readers.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing: I remember reading this in my elementary school days! But the group that chose it is still enjoying it, and some have even picked up the sequel on their own. I think that Fudge is just such a funny character that kids can't help but be pulled into the story.

Dear Mr. Henshaw: There have been years in which I have been totally unable to get kids interested in this book. So I feel pretty pleased that a group has selected this one! I think that a very supportive introduction makes the difference. I showed students the first two letters, introduced them to the format of the book, and showed them where it changes to a journal format. This helped them to navigate the letter style of the book.

Because of Winn-Dixie: This book can be a good pick for boys and girls. It has a quieter pace, and students in this group had a little more trouble finding the main problem and the theme. But they enjoyed all of the doggy details, and their conversations were always lively.

...and I've put together a collection of the materials that I've been using with literature circles. You can check it out below, or download it here.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this post...I am a fan of lit circles myself! I now follow your blog!