Monday, March 22, 2010

I Love Literature Circles

I was shocked by my students this morning.  They read/worked on lit circle assignments for 45 minutes.  (after I had talked about them for 20).  I left the room, walked down to the photocopier and back (twice), and no one had moved.  I let them pick their books on Friday, and for most of the morning before recess, they just read... which warms my heart.  My goal for the year is to get them excited about books and reading.  And right now, I have several students with 2-3 books on the go because they have their literature circle books and other books they have self-selected to read.

I spend a lot of time reading in order to decide what books I want to use for literature circles.  This year, for the first round, I have chosen:

Shabash! by Ann Walsh
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Among the Hidden by Margaret Petersen Haddix
Found (The Missing, Book 1) by Margaret Petersen Haddix
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Some of them are new, and others are really really old, but I think they are all worth reading, will encourage interesting discussion and I had particular students in mind when I selected each one because I thought there was something in the story that would resonate with certain students.  My Side of the Mountain is not my favourite out of the bunch, but I have had students love to read about Sam's experience living in the mountains by himself.  It comes highly recommended by my husband, who emphatically declared that "that kid is frikin' Macguyver...he made a fishing hook out of sticks and he lives in a hole in a tree..." How can I not include it with that kind of backing?

Any favourite books for literature circles?

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