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Created By: Kaitlyn Coirazza Literature Circle Lesson Date Developed: June 26th, 2016

Preliminary Information
LESSON: Literature Circle Introduction Date of Lesson: June 27th, 2016
Grade: 6th Course/Subject: ELA
Number of Students: 24
Unit/Theme: Literature Circles/Holocaust Period/Time: ELA
Estimated Duration: 2 Day Lesson (45 Minutes each Day)
Where in the unit does this lesson occur? Structure(s) or grouping for the lesson (underline any that apply):
Beginning of the unit Whole class
Middle of the unit Small group
End of the unit One-to-one
Other (specify)

1. GOALS: What are your goals for student learning, and why are they appropriate for these
students at this time?
Big Idea or Concept Being Taught

In this lesson, students will be introduced to Literature Circles. After learning about the different Literature Circle roles,
students will be split up into groups to read novels about the Holocaust during World War II.

Student Learning Goal(s)/Objective(s):

(Identify 1 or 2 goals for students; below your goals state how you will communicate the goals to students.)
Teacher Versions:
1. Students will understand the first chapter of The Devils Arithmetic/Friedrich/The Island on Bird Street/Milkweed
by discussing the chapter in their Literature Circle groups.

2. Students will analyze sections of The Devils Arithmetic/Friedrich/The Island on Bird Street/Milkweed in Literature
Circle groups by examining parts of the first chapter picked out by the Literary Luminary.

Student Versions:
1. You will discuss the first chapter of The Devils Arithmetic/Friedrich/The Island on Bird Street/Milkweed in your
Literature Circle groups.

2. You will analyze sections of the text picked out by the Literary Luminary while in your Literature Circle groups.

(List the Common Core Learning Standards or other discipline-specific standards addressed in this Common lesson.)
RL.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL 6.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative
meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

RL.6.5: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes
to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

2. ASSESSMENT: How will you know and document the extent to which students make
progress towards or meet your goals?
Evidence and Assessment of Student Learning
(How will you know whether students are making progress toward your learning goal[s], and/or how will you assess the
extent to which they have met your goal[s]?)
Teacher will informally assess students by observing student literature circles in action. Teacher will look for
student engagement and participation in the group discussion. Students will also be formally assessed on their
note sheet for their role (Literary Luminary, Illustrator, Questioner, Connector) which will be collected at the end of
Literature Circles.
3. THE LESSON: How will you support students to meet your goals?
Launch/Hook/Anticipatory Set
(How will you get the lesson started? What questions, texts, inquiry, modeling, and/or other techniques will you use to
engage students?)
Good morning, 6th graders! As you know, weve been learning about the Holocaust by reading the book, Number the
Stars, as a whole class. Even though we finished reading this book a few days ago, that doesnt mean that were done
learning about the Holocaust and World War II! Today, were going to continue reading about the Holocaust but
instead of reading historical fiction as a whole class, you are going to read these books in small groups. These small
groups are called Literature Circles.

Explore/Instructional Strategies
(How will students engage with ideas/texts to develop understandings; what questions will you ask; how will you promote
question generation/discussion; how will you address the academic language demands? Detail your plan. Note: For math
lesson plans, please write or attach every task/problem students will solve during the lesson.)

Teacher will complete a quick KWL chart (5 min) on Literature Circles to informally assess students on previous experience
with Literature Circles.

Great work, scholars! Literature Circles are small, temporary groups that are formed based on book choice.
Sometimes, the teacher will choose what book each group is reading, but sometimes you will get to choose what book
you will read. Today, you will get to choose what historical fiction book you would like to read about the Holocaust.
Silent excitement! Students will wiggle their fingers in the air. You will get to choose what book you would like to read,
and then, you will be put into a group with other students that chose to read the same book. Your group will meet
every day to discuss your book. Teacher will complete a check for understanding.

When you come together as a group, you will each have a different role or job that will help your group effectively
discuss your book. We will be forming Literature Circle groups of 4 people, so there will be 4 different roles that you
may be assigned. The roles are Literary Luminary, Illustrator, Questioner, and Connector. Teacher will hand out the
packet that describes each role. Teacher will have students read through each role aloud, interjecting with clarification as

To make the roles easier to understand, I am going to model each of the roles for you using the last chapter of Number
the Stars, since we all read this chapter before. If I was the Literary Luminary, I would need to find a few sections or
sentences from the chapter that I thought were important to the plot, characters, or theme. Teacher will model what
the Literary Luminary would do in a real Literature Circle, using pre-planned Literary Luminary passages from the last
chapter of Number the Stars. Teacher will check for understanding at the end, and then model the three other roles
(Illustrator, Questioner, Connector) using the last chapter from Number the Stars.

Those are the roles you may be assigned for your Literature Circle. We will always rotate through roles, so you wont
always have the same role. Now, before we break up into our Literature Circles, you need to decide what book you
would like to read about the Holocaust. You have 4 choices

1. Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

2. The Devils Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
3. The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev
4. Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter
On a piece of paper, please write your top 2 choices for books. You can only choose out of these 4 books. When youre
done, please hand your papers in and then work on your Independent Packet until its time to move to our next subject.
While students are working independently, teacher will look at student choices and form Literature Circles as appropriate.
At the end of this subject period or at the end of the day, teacher will post the groups, write a Literature Circle role next to
each student, give each student their appropriate book, and assign the first chapter/role as homework for the night.
Teacher should stress that groups will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the first chapter, so students need to read carefully
and complete their roles with care.

Good morning everyone! Last night, you should have read the first chapter of your historical fiction novel and prepared
your Literature Circle role. Today, you are going to discuss the first chapters of our books in your Literature Circles.
Teacher will get students into their circles at different areas in the classroom. You will now begin discussing your book.
Whoever has the role of Literary Luminary will begin, and then you can rotate through everyone else. Are there any
questions before you begin? Great! The next 30 minutes are yours to discuss your chapters. During Literature Circles,
teacher will walk around, monitoring student engagement and participation. Teacher will act as a facilitator as needed,
but should not participate too much as discussion should rely on students.
(How will you bring closure to the lesson?)

Great job discussing your books in your Literature Circles! I loved hearing your questions and comments about your
new books. Tonight, you will read the next 2 chapters in your book and come prepared to discuss using your same role.

(How will you address the needs of all learners in this lesson, i.e., how will you respond to diversity among students in such
areas as prior knowledge, ability level, learning needs, cultural background, and English language proficiency?)

If a student(s) choose a book that is too difficult for their reading level, teacher can give that student the option of
choosing another book or listening to the book on tape (provided by teacher). Teacher should stress that the student still
needs to follow along in the book while listening.

Resources and Materials

The Devils Arithmetic copies
Milkweed copies
Friedrich copies
The Island on Bird Street copies

Literature Circle roles packet

KWL Chart