LITERATURE CIRCLES & YOUR ROLES

  • We will use 5 roles (check with your teacher to find out which roles you will use for this circle). If you have more than 5 group members, there can be two of any of the rolse EXCEPT Discussion Director

     Each group member prepares and performs one role for each meeting. After the meeting the roles rotate. This week’s Connector is next week’s Discussion Director, for example. During the discussion you are not limited to your role.

     

    BEFORE each group meeting, you must have completed the following tasks:

    1. Reading and annotating all the pages assigned for that meeting. (Use post-its if it is not your personal book)
    2. Writing down any questions you have about the reading.
    3. Completing all of the tasks associated with the role you are performing.
    4. Typing on a separate sheet of paper all of the written work associated with the role you are performing.


    DURING each group meeting, you are responsible for the following tasks:

    1. Listening attentively to each group member.
    2. Performing your role in the course of the discussion.
    3. Contributing to the discussion in a serious, respectful, mature manner.
    4. Writing, on a sheet of binder paper, the answers to the closing questions on your role sheet.

     

    • After each group meeting, make sure you know what pages are assigned for the next meeting, and make sure you have rotated the roles.
    • Failure to perform any of the tasks listed above will stall the discussion, irritate your group members, and sabotage your grade.

     


     

    Discussion Director

    Your job is to help guide the nonfiction circle discussion, make sure everyone participates, and report to class on your group’s conclusions and questions. To help prepare for your nonfiction circle meeting, write down a brief summary of the major points in the reading and possible questions for your group to discuss. Although all group members should come prepared with questions, your job includes coming up with a longer list of questions to help guide discussion. Possible ideas for questions are things that confuse you about this text, things you liked or thought were interesting, or things you think might be important. You may also want to include questions about the author’s style, any inconsistencies in the text, questions about the thesis, the textual structure etc. Make sure you write interpretive or analytical questions, questions that require more then a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, the group members should have to make connections (analyze), evaluate, or give their opinions about the book.

    During your nonfiction circle meeting, your responsibility is to make sure that everyone participates. If someone is quiet, ask him to present what he found as part of his role, ask a question, or answer a question. Start off the nonfiction circle by presenting your summary of the reading and asking if anyone has clarifying questions about the points of the reading. Once every group members’ questions about the facts have been answered (this should take no more than 5 minutes or so), begin discussing the interpretive questions you or other group members have brought in.

     Do the following things BEFORE the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Summarize the main points of the reading.
    2. Make a list of the key quotations/passages in the reading (at least 5 key passages) and explain why these quotations or passages are important.
    3. Come up with 4-6 interpretive or analytical questions about the reading.

    AFTER the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Write a response to the following prompts:

    • In our discussion today, the question that inspired the best discussion was…
    • Why did it inspire the most discussion?
    1. Write a brief summary of what your group discussed. What conclusions did your group come to? What questions does your group still have?

     

    Imagist

    In literature, the author uses words and phrases to create “mental images” for the reader. Imagery helps the reader to visualize more realistically the author’s writings. Some ways to awaken readers’ sensory perceptions are: metaphors, allusions, descriptive words, and similes, amongst other literary forms.

    Do the following things BEFORE the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Find 4 excellent examples of imagery (in any or all of its forms) and record them (quotes or whole passages)
    1. For each example, write a short paragraph on the image – explain the image, how it is “shown” by the speaker, and its significance to the book/the situation or scene/the speaker/you.
    1. Rank the examples from best to worst.

    DURING the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Read your examples to the group and ask group members to explain what they believe are the passages’ significance. Why? 

    AFTER the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Write a brief summary of what your group discussed. What conclusions did your group come to? What questions does your group still have?

     Rhetorician

     Your job is to examine the text for rhetorical appeals (appeals to ethos, logos, or pathos).

    Do the following things BEFORE the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Find at least one place where the author appeals to pathos (the reader’s emotions). Write down the passage and explain how the author appeals to pathos in that passage. If you do not think the author appeals to pathos at all, why do you think the author chose to avoid appeals to pathos?

    2. Find at least one place where the author appeals to logos (logic). Write down the passage and explain how the author appeals to logos in that passage. If you do not think the author appeals to logos at all, why do you think the author chose to avoid appeals to logos?

    3. Find at least one place where the author appeals to ethos (the reader’s sense of the author as credible and trustworthy OR the reader’s morals or ethics). Write down the passage and explain how the author appeals to ethos in that passage. You should be able to find at least one place where the author tries to establish his/her credibility (even if you do not find any places where the author appeals to the reader’s morals and ethics). If you feel that the author fails to establish his/her credibility, why do you think s/he fails? 

    AFTER the nonfiction circle meeting: 

    1. Write a brief summary of what your group discussed. What conclusions did your group come to? What questions does your group still have?

     

    Voice Vocalist

    Your job is to evaluate the author’s voice. Answer three of the following questions with specific textual examples and explanation.

    • How would you describe the author’s/speaker’s voice?
    • How does the author’s/speaker’s voice contribute to the overall tone of the book or a specific situation?
    • Does the author use primarily positive or negative diction (word choice)? Why?
    • Do you notice any patterns in the author’s use of diction? What are they?
    • Does the author use any diction or expressions specific to his/her subject or situation? What are these? What do they mean?
    • Is the author’s voice particularly important or significant? Why?

     Do the following things BEFORE the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Pick three of the above questions, and write one paragraph in answer to each. Provide sufficient details, reasons, or explanations to support your opinions. Be prepared to discuss your conclusions with the rest of the group.

    AFTER the nonfiction circle meeting:

     Write a brief summary of what your group discussed. What conclusions did your group come to? What questions does your group still have?


     

    Connector

    Your job is to find connections among this reading and the texts we have read or the world outside. This means connecting the reading to your own life, to happenings at school or in the community, to similar events at other times and places, to other people or problems that you are reminded of, to the principles of a religion or philosophy, to the characters or themes in a work of literature, or to the ideas in another nonfiction text. You might also see connections between this book and other writings on the same topic, or by the same author. There are no right or wrong answers here – whatever the reading connects you with is worth sharing.

    Do the following things BEFORE the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. List and explain 3-5 connections you found between the reading and the outside world or between the reading and other texts.

     DURING the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Explain your connection(s) to the group and then ask the group to think of any connections they made. They can agree or disagree with each other.

     AFTER the nonfiction circle meeting:

    1. Write a brief summary of what your group discussed. What conclusions did your group come to? What questions does your group still have?