"Literature Circles" to Enrich Students

Report
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USING ‘LITERATURE CIRCLES’ TO
ENRICH STUDENTS’ READING EXPERIENCES IN THE
SECONDARY ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
Jerry Chui
English Panel Chairperson
Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
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What are Literature Circles (LC)?
• Small, peer-led discussion groups whose members have
chosen to read the same story, poem, article or book.
(Daniels, 2002)
• Other names: Reading Circles / Book Clubs / Reading
Groups
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Eleven Key ‘Ingredients’ (Daniels, 2002)
Students choose their own reading materials.
2. Small temporary groups are formed, based on book choice.
3. Different groups read different books.
4. Groups meet on regular, predictable schedule to discuss their
reading.
5. Kids use written or drawn notes to guide their discussion.
6. Discussion topics come from the students.
7. Group meetings aim to be open, natural conversations about
books.
8. The teacher serves as a facilitator.
9. Evaluation is done by teacher observation and student selfevaluation.
10. New groups form around new reading choices.
11. A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room.
1.
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Eleven
Key ‘Ingredients’
2002)
11 Key ‘Ingredients’
in EFL(Daniels,
Classrooms
(Furr, n.d.)
1.
1.
2.
2.
3.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
10.
11.
The teacher
selects
reading
materials
appropriate for their students.
Students
choose
their
own reading
materials.
Small temporary groups are formed
formed,by
based
on book choice.
the teacher.
Different groups read the
samebooks.
text.
different
Groups meet on regular, predictable schedule to discuss their
reading.
Kids use written or drawn notes to guide their discussion.
Discussion topics come from the students.
Group meetings aim to be open, natural conversations about
books.
The teacher serves as a facilitator.
Evaluation is done by teacher observation and student selfevaluation.
New
groupsprovides
form around
new information
reading choices.
The teacher
additional
to “fill in some of the gaps”.
A spirit of playfulness and fun pervades the room.
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How are LCs conducted?
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Roles
Discussion
Director
Reporter
Summariser
Word
Wizard
Illustrator
Literary
Luminary
Connector
Investigator
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Summary of Roles
Discussion
Director
acts as a facilitator in the group and keeps
the discussion flowing
Summariser
summarises the part of the reading they
have read at the beginning of the discussion
Illustrator
draws some kind of pictures related to
the reading
Connector
tries to find connections between the reading
and the real world in which he/she lives
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Summary of Roles (con’t)
Investigator
Literary
Luminary
digs up some background information on
any topic related to the reading
locates a few interesting, powerful, funny,
puzzling, or important sections of the
reading and reads them aloud in the group
focuses on single words or very short
Word Wizard phrases which he/she believes to be the
most important words found in the reading
Reporter
jots down what the group has talked about
and reports it to the class
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Benefits of LCs (Fayne & Weiss, n.d.)
• All students have an important role to play in the discussion.
• Difficult points are presented from different perspectives.
• Students of differing abilities can be put in one group and
•
•
•
•
•
•
benefit from one another.
Books can be broken into manageable pieces.
Comprehension and vocabulary are significantly enhanced.
Students take ownership of their own learning.
Different generic skills can be developed - communication
skills, critical thinking skills, creativity and collaboration skills.
Questions and discussion promote student reflection.
Students read, talk, question, feel, and think out of the box.
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Higher Order Thinking Skills
Literary
Luminary
Discussion
Director
Illustrator
Connector
Investigator
Summariser
Word
Wizard
Reporter
Source: Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York:
David McKay Co Inc
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LITERATURE CIRCLES IN
THE SCHOOL-BASED
ENGLISH LANGUAGE CURRICULUM
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School Background
• An EMI co-educational school
• Reading programmes in the school-based English
Language curriculum:
• S.1 – S.3: English reading lessons (twice per cycle)
school-based Reading Award Scheme
• S.4 – S.6: Extensive Reading Programme (SBA)
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Preparing Junior Secondary Students for LCs
• S.1 – S.3 Literature Sets
 Including reflection questions asking students to relate the
stories to their lives
• S.1 – S.3 Language Arts Elements
 Example: (S.3) The Miracle Worker – Including discussion
and individual presentation topics related to the movie
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How LCs Started in CDGFSS
2006
To
encourage
UE
students to
face
changes –
Who
Moved My
Cheese
2008
To prepare
UE
students
for future
life and
cultivate a
positive
lifestyle –
The Last
Lecture
2010
To prepare
HKDSE
students
for the
SBA
tasks –
The Last
Polar
Bears
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Purposes of Introducing LCs
Through Literature Circles, we would like to help our
students to
• take ownership of their learning
• develop their speaking skills for SBA
• think and respond more critically (Bloom’s taxonomy)
• become more reflective
• read, talk, question, feel, and think out of the box for
purposeful communication
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Reasons for the Choice of Reading Texts
HKALE UE
• Complementing the theme “Stress and Adversity”
• Students mature enough to understand life stories
HKDSE ENG
• One of the recommended SBA books
• Lots of interesting details  open for imagination
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The Last Polar Bears
• Level of students: S.5
• Time to conduct LCs: 2nd Term
• Number of lessons: 8-10
• Materials: The book and school-
based Literature Circle booklet
• Purpose: To prepare students
for SBA
• Grouping: Teacher assigned
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Worksheets
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Catering for Learner Diversity
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How to Teach Students to Conduct LCs
• Teacher’s role: facilitator
• Showing students products done by previous students
• Playing videos of Literature Circles (YouTube)
• Monitoring the progress of individual groups and providing
assistance whenever appropriate
• Leading class discussion to ‘bridge the gaps’
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Discussion Director
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Literary Luminary
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Summariser
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Reporter
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Word Wizard
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Investigator
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IMPACT AND REFLECTION
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Students’ Reflection
Ideas
Speaking Skills
Vocabulary
Others
- understanding a text from different perspectives
- sharing ideas in the group
- knowing more about the text and the related issues
- becoming more confident in speaking English
- improved fluency
- learning communication strategies: leading a group,
initiating a discussion, turn-taking, sustaining a discussion,
responding to others
- expanding their vocabulary bank
- recycling vocabulary learnt from the text in discussion
- willing to try something that they may not be good at without
any pressure
- appreciating others’ effort
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Teachers’ Reflection
Before
Teaching
Learning
After
Teachers were not very confident in
conducting student-centered activities.
Teachers become more confident in
conducting student-centered activities.
Teachers doubted whether discussion was
an effective way of learning.
Teachers are convinced that discussion can
be an effective means to facilitate learning
and teaching.
Teacher-student interactions were limited.
Plenty of meaningful teacher-student
interactions are observed in the lessons.
The lesson atmosphere might be a bit
‘serious’ for students.
LCs contribute to livelier lessons.
Learner diversity was an issue.
Learners help one another in groups.
Students did not know how to elaborate on
their ideas.
Students ideas are well-elaborated.
Students did not read critically.
Students know how to be critical readers.
Students lacked confidence in speaking
English.
Students are more willing to speak in English
in class.
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Our Future Plan
2006
To
encourage
UE
students to
face
changes –
Who
Moved My
Cheese
2008
To prepare
UE
students for
future life
and
cultivate a
positive
lifestyle –
The Last
Lecture
2010
To prepare
HKDSE
students for
the SBA
tasks –
The Last
Polar Bears
35
Other Possible LC Activities
• Inclusion of Literature Circles in ERS
• E-learning: Literature Circles online
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References
• Roles:
•
•
•
•
http://www.sd67.bc.ca/training/Instructional_Capacity/Liter
ature%20Circle%20Jobs.pdf
Resources:
http://farroutlinks.net/blog/documents/LiteratureCirclesMat
erial.pdf
Steps:
http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/northernadelaide/files/links/my
sterylessonplans.pdf
Example:
http://bonniecampbellhill.com/Handouts/Handouts/NESAL
itCircleHandoutAthens07.pdf
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