Posted: November 17, 2016 | Author: Kasperi Lehtonen, Yorkshire Academy Fifth Grader
Quite often, children read books without noticing the art authors entwine with the rows of words on a page. Words. Words can be so powerful, and when one knows how to use them, they can create amazing masterpieces. That’s what makes Literature Circle so exciting!
In Literature Circle, we learn about authors’ use of language. We learn about foreshadowing, similes, metaphors, and more, but the main thing we learn is the power of words. We read lots of books by great authors, and then we discuss them in class and answer questions about them.
During our Literature Circle discussions, we share our ideas and opinions about the book. We talk about passages we liked, connections to ourselves and to other books, questions about the story, and predictions of what might happen next. In our Lit. Circle packets, we write answers to questions that are asked about the books. We also record our Literature Circle jobs in them.
For each book, we are assigned different jobs. We can choose to be a questioner, a predictor, a literary luminary (my favorite), a travel tracer, a connector, or a word wizard. After we finish books, we often do projects based on them. Sometimes we write essays, sometimes we have debates, and sometimes we even create dioramas. Usually our projects have something to do with either the main character, the plot, or an important scene in the story.
Usually Literature Circle discussions go something in the direction of... Someone says, “I really like this passage on page 83.” Someone else says, “Really? Why?” They reply, “Well, I think the way the author uses comparisons creates a great overall metaphor for what the author is describing.” Then, after a few small discussions like that, we get down to business. We go through our Literature Circle jobs, each one somewhere close to this: “Okay, now the Literary Luminaries. Who would like to go first?” Someone pipes up, “I will!” She turns a couple of pages in her Lit. Circle packet, and then looks down at what she had written the night before. “The passage I chose was, ‘The leaf fluttered to the ground like a ballerina swirling across a stage.’ Page 92. I liked this passage because of the way the author used a simile to describe what he was expressing.” Then, she looks up from her packet and further explains the concept of what she thought of the author’s use of language in her own words. When she is finished, we move on to the next person. It keeps on going until we have gone through all the Lit. Circle jobs, and then we read the next section of the book we are working on.
Literature Circle requires some work and concentration, but it pays off well at the end. It is one of my favorite things that we do at school, and it will help all of us later on in life. Words. One can barely imagine the power of words.