Be daring… let go of the reins!

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Literature Circles – a structured method of delivering Reading for Enjoyment, whilst teaching learners how to think, be accountable for their learning, in addition to embracing the embedded CfE principle of ‘Enjoyment and Choice’. Click on the blue links throughout to find out more.

What are Literature Circles?
Literature circles are formed within your classroom, allowing pupils to choose the book they read, from a selection of 3/4 books. Groups are then established from their choice of book. Each week (it is suggested you have 1 session a week) pupils decide as a group how much they read for the next session. Ensuring the session has a structure – giving pupils roles and responsibilities – learners are able to had an in-depth discussion in which they are all accountable for.

Strathclyde University, on behalf of the Scottish Government, conducted research (2005) on the effectiveness of literature circles within the classroom. They found that:
1. Literature circles encouraged learners to take responsibility for their own learning
2. Learners, using the roles given, were able to analyse the text
3. Boys were increasingly engaged in reading for enjoyment
4. Pupils wanted to create their own literature circles
Literature Circles, Gender and Reading for Enjoyment

Within my classroom, in conjunction with the use of Bloom’s taxonomy, I have found literature circles an active way of promoting leadership of learners within the classroom, putting an emphasis on pupil talk over teacher talk.

Have you used literature circles in your classroom? If so, we’d love to hear your advice on how to perfect literature circles.

2 thoughts on “Be daring… let go of the reins!

  1. Cara

    We have been working on simple aspects of literature circles as part of our nursery into P1 transition and are planning to follow up on this next term. it seems like a logical way to get children talking about interests and literature and compliments what the nursery are already doing. hopefully it will allow the nursery and P1 pupils to valuably interact over texts and take on roles within the mixed groups..I will let you know how it goes.


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