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All about literature circles

I know it is summer, but I found (especially as a new teacher) that setting aside a good chunk of time to go Beast Mode* on a specific strategy truly helps in its implementation during the next school year.

This summer, I’m planning to reflect on how our literature circles went this past year and figure out how to weave it into new Common Core-aligned curriculum. In my previous post, I gave a lengthy explanation about how I introduced literature circles into my 8th grade classroom and gave three short book reviews. I recognize that there are areas of growth in my own facilitation, so for this post I’d like to open up the floor for you guys to shed some light, share experiences, or submit questions concerning this teaching strategy. I’m also going to share a few resources that helped me jumpstart this strategy in my classroom.

Why do I want to keep growing in this area? Simple!

  • It allows for specified differentiation among reading and interest levels.
  • It allows students to build their Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) through preparation, discussion, and various circle roles.
  • It builds metacognition as students reflect on their preparation and contributions.
  • Once students understand how it works, it practically runs itself!

So without further ado, here are a few websites that offer insight into the implementation of literature circles.

Do you have favorite resources, ideas, or anecdotes from your own experiences with this strategy?

* Beast Mode: Periods of intense concentrated effort as exemplified by former Cal running back (and Oakland native), Marshawn Lynch.

Junia Kim About Junia Kim

Junia Kim is a middle school teacher in Oakland, CA. Her favorite genre is YA, her favorite author is CS Lewis, and her favorite YA book is Nancy Farmer’s The House of the Scorpion.



  1. Lolly Robinson Lolly Robinson says:

    I’m fascinated by lit circles and wish they had been around when I was younger and struggling to enjoy reading chapter books. They might have turned things around for me earlier.

    I love hearing about all the different ways they can be tailored for specific classes. I hope some of you working teachers will comment here and share your strategies. What worked, what didn’t. And why, because each classroom has a different dynamic.

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