Final Lit Circle Project Ideas

After the students have all finished reading their lit circle books, it is now time for the final assignment.  I have a few good ideas for students to choose from for their final assignment.  When it comes to presenting the assignment, students will get together with their group and present the final assignment they chose.  Once again, they will use peer assessment with a different format.  Below is the format used for assessing their final assignments.

Here are a few different final assignment ideas:

Story Board

Create a storyboard of three main events/scenes from the novel/book.  Each scene should reflect either the beginning/middle/end or problem/climax/resolution of the entire story.

Your storyboard must include the following:

  • Three illustrated scenes with one paragraph for each scene
  • Be handed in on 8 ½” x 14” legal sized paper, the legal sized paper must be divided into 6 sections – 2 for each scene (illustration/paragraph) and space at the top for the title and author of the book

Each scene must include the following:

  • The illustration must be realistic and either colored or shaded
  • Each scene paragraph must include a detailed description of the setting, characters, and plot
  • Each scene paragraph must also include a text connection of justification for the selection of the scene

Your presentation must be rehearsed and not read off of the storyboard itself.

Your comprehension activity must be assessed by a peer and by yourself according to the project rubric and presentation assessment.  The two assessments and your project must be handed in together for teacher evaluation.

Shoebox Diorama

Re-create a scene from the novel/book in a shoebox sized display, using plasticine, clay, Play-Doh, Lego, or other such materials

Your Diorama must include the following:

  • Contain at least the main character, however, other characters will add to the overall presentation
  • The setting should be connected to the main plot or conflict
  • Two to three paragraphs written ahead of time on index cards describing the scene, setting, characters, actions, place in the overall story
  • One paragraph written on why the scene was chosen to represent the novel/book
  • Diorama has title and author included on shoebox
  • Evidence of having rehearsed the presentation

Your comprehension activity must be assessed by a peer and by yourself according to the project rubric and presentation assessment.  The two assessments and your project must be handed in together for teacher evaluation.

Grab Bag Book Talk

Select some objects which are vehicles for retelling the story.  Put them in a bog, and pull out each object one by one, explaining how the object related to the story.

You are required to include the following elements:

  • At least six objects, and for the following purposes – one of which represents the setting, two for the main character, two for the plot, and one for the conflict of the story
  • One paragraph written ahead of time about each object put on an index card
  • The bag has title and author and has at least one illustration, you are encouraged to pick an appropriate bag, such as a duffle bad for an athlete, or a suitcase for the main character who has just moved etc. (if possible)
  • Evidence of having rehearsed the book talk

Your comprehension activity must be assessed by a peer and by yourself according to the project rubric and presentation assessment.  The two assessments and your project must be handed in together for teacher evaluation.

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Ideas on How to Assess Lit Circle Meetings

When it came to assessing the lit circle meetings my sponsor teacher had a great simple assessment sheet that I thought I should share.  This assessment sheet was for assessing what the students said regarding their “say something blurb,” at the lit circle meetings.  The one part of the assessment sheet was for a peer to assess them and the other was for them to self-assess.

Peer Assessment

 

I thought the peer assessment was a great way to assess their “say something blurb,” and often went over very well with the students.  The student that was getting assessed had the option of choosing who would assess them.  The student could also choose the teacher if they felt more comfortable with that option.

Self-Assessment

For the self-assessment piece, the students would have the opportunity to assess themselves after they had presented their “say something blurb.”  Having them assess themselves left a lot of responsibility in the student to give themselves an honest assessment.  For the most part, I found that the students gave themselves what they deserved.

Dual Entry Journal

The students were also expected to do five dual entry journals for their assigned book.  The dual entry book consisted of one side of the page asking what happened? And the other saying my thoughts on this… and connections.  This was a good opportunity for the teacher to evaluate the work the students were doing.

I also found another assessment sheet online that I thought would be useful.  I will link it here for those who would like to look.

-Breanna 🙂

 

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How to Run Successful Lit Circles

The first step is to make sure every student understands the expectations of what to bring and what happens during a lit circle meeting.

Expectations:

  • Bring your lit circle book
  • Bring a pencil
  • Bring a short description of what you read (“say something blurb”)
  • Bring a positive attitude  🙂

A way I experienced lit circles ran was by having students bring a “say something blurb” to the group meeting.  With this “say something blurb,” it could have connections they had made with the book, a description of what had happened, or a prediction of what they think may happen next.  You may set deadlines for where each student should be at for the next lit circle meeting or could let the students read at their own pace.  If you decide to let the students read at their own pace, there must be a final deadline of when the book is to be completed and the assignments.  At the start of each meeting discuss who has read the least so they can share first and have nothing spoiled for them.  You will have to do a gradual release and after each student shares, they will then return to their desk.  With not giving a deadline for each group meeting, it makes it so the student who has read the most will only have one person to share with.   This is why I would recommend setting deadlines, that way you have the full group participating for the full time.

As each student discusses what they have read, connections, or predictions, every member of the group must then ask at least one question regarding the text.  It may be a good idea to have prompts for the students to use because often they will not come with questions prepared.

Below is a prompt and probes question sheet that could be used:

The teacher may have to facilitate the first few lit circle meetings to get the ball rolling.   After a few meetings, you should hope that the conversations the students are having start to sound more natural/organic and they don’t need the Prompt and Probe sheets as often.

There are many other ways to run the lit circle meetings, this was just a successful way I witnessed in an intermediate classroom.

My next post will focus on assessment regarding lit circles!

-Breanna

 

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How to Get Lit Circles Started in the Classroom

The first step is to pick out books that are all different reading levels.  Depending on the number of students you have in your classroom will depend on how many different books you have to choose from.  I would recommend having at least three to four students in each lit circle group to facilitate a good discussion.  You may have a theme for your lit circles.  I have seen one done with the main focus on residential schools and I thought it was very powerful!  It was great, not only were the students working on literacy skills, but Social Studies was also incorporated.

Once you have chosen the books, it is now time to share them with your class.  With each book give the students a brief summary of what the book is about and the reading level.  After each book is described, it is now time for the students to vote for their top three picks.  Hand out a slip of paper with the numbers one through three, one being your top pick and three being your last pick.  Tell the students you will do your best job to get their first or second pick.

If you are doing lit circles with a younger grade, you may not give them the option to choose their own book.  At the younger age, they may not understand how to pick a good book that is suitable for their reading level.  For lit circles to run successfully, you will need the students to be able to comprehend the story, so they can have meaningful discussions.

After the final decisions are made of who will be in each group, I suggest making a sign-out sheet of which student has which book.  This will result in having no lost books at the end (fingers crossed).  The last step to getting the students started is to decide on which day the groups will meet.  I suggest having the times written somewhere in the classroom for students not to forget what day they are scheduled to meet.

In my next post, I will be discussing how to run a successful lit circles meeting.

*This way of running lit circles was developed by my sponsor teacher last year. (Helen Fall)*

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Lit Circles

I have decided to do my inquiry question on “How to run successful literature circles (lit circles) in a classroom.”  What are lit circles you may ask???  In lit circles “small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ response to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author’s craft, or personal experiences related to the story.”

Last year, I had the privilege to watch/ run lit circles in my practicum class.  They were already established in my classroom by my sponsor teacher and I thought her method would be great to share.  As well as some new resources I have found during my inquiry.    After some research and experience, I have decided to focus on four main aspects regarding lit circles:

  1. How to get lit circles started in the classroom
  2. How to run successful lit circles
  3. Ideas on how to assess
  4. Final project ideas

Here is a video of one way lit circles can be incorporated into the classroom.

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Welcome :)

Welcome to my blog friends!

Throughout my blog, you will find posts focused on my inquiry with promoting a healthy classroom.   I am excited to share my findings with all of you.  🙂

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