Literature Circles

This year I plan on implementing Literature Circles in my classroom.  I am a little nervous because I will be doing it with First graders, but I am hoping that with a lot of scaffolding the end results will be amazing!

Positives of lit circles:

1. Teaches students how to collaborate with one another

2. Students develop strong comprehension skills

3. Students enjoy the independence of lit circles, thus develop reading enjoyment


1. Amount of time it will take to teach students how to successfully complete lit circles

There are so many positives to literature circles and I can’t wait to see what positives occur in my class from them this school year! 

The game plan:

I plan on rolling out literature circles in little increments throughout the school year, so by the 2nd semester (around February) they will be ready to do them independently (somewhat) in groups.  

First- I will teach literature circle roles in guided reading group throughout the first semester. I bought Susan Jones Book Club pack from Teachers Pay Teachers and plan on using it to guide roles and student work. During this time, students will learn each role one at a time.  For example, students will read their guided reading book and we will practice a role, such as, questioner.  Depending on how long it takes students to understand each role will depend on how long we focus on it.  

Continue with each role.  Max 5 roles to keep groups small. 

Second- Once students understand each role, students will then choose the role they will be in charge of in our guided reading, lit circle.  (I say guided reading lit circle because we will still be practicing literature circle elements during our guided reading groups.  My goal is for lit circles to be separate from guided reading groups by February because students will be completing them independently.) 

Students will chose their roles by drawing a stick out of a jar, which has a label with a designated role.  

Students will get practice completing various roles and holding discussions, with me present.  I wondering how much teacher prompting is going to be needed to guide student discussion. 

…Students can now successfully hold a lit circle without my assistance (hopefully)…

Third- Students read book in their lit circle group and complete their designated role using a role form.  Then students discuss in their groups all of their findings.  I will be monitoring groups during this time. 

This is a short and sweet outline of how I hope lit circles go in my classroom.  Though, as we all know, students do not always follow the perfect plan you have created in your mind.  I will be posting my discoveries once the school year gets started. 

I can’t wait to see how it goes!  

If you have any advice about implementing literature circles, let me know! 


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