4th Grade

In the fourth grade, we use literature circles during our novel studies to encourage thoughtful discussion and a love of reading in our students.  We do this by assigning each student in a small group a role; Artful Artist, Discussion Director, Passage Picker, or Word Finder.  The students then read the required chapter on their own, and complete their role sheet.  For example, the Passage Picker will choose several paragraphs from the chapter that they feel are worth sharing and discussing with their group, while the Word Finder will discover any unfamiliar words, and find their definitions in the dictionary.  Each student must be prepared for their role so they can come together as a group the following day. During the group discussion, led by the Discussion Director, each student shares the information from their role sheet, as well as participates in lively dialog about the chapter with their group members.  By the end of the discussion, students have learned new words, discussed interesting passages, visualized important parts, and resolved any questions that arose in the chapter.  When asked why he enjoys literature circles, one student shared, “I like literature circles because when I’m Artful Artist, I get to practice my drawing, and it helps my memory of what I just read.”  The use of literature circles in our 4th grade classroom not only allows students to become better readers by practicing and developing skills and strategies, but also fosters their love of reading.