Literature Circles Lesson 4: Using Non-Fiction Texts
When using non-fiction reading essay writing selections from Holocaust and Human Behavior for Literature Circles, all the groups will read simultaneously within one category. For example, each group might be reading a different text from "Nazis in Power" essay with the idea that they can delve deeply into a shorter reading selection and come back and discuss with the whole class what they discovered. The teacher should frame the Literature Circle discussion with a mini-lesson or whole-class activity to prepare students for what they will encounter in the text. Similarly, after students complete their discussions, there should be a comprehensive class debrief in which students share the knowledge they gleaned from their respective readings.
- explore topics from a variety of perspectives.
- delve deeply into a selected non-fiction reading.
- participate in student-facilitated discussions.
- How can democratic reading methodogies enhance students' encounters with non-fiction texts?
- How can an in-depth experience with a shorter text enhance insight, analysis and comprehension?
- How can using Literature Circles with HHB readings supplement and complement the Facing History scope and sequence?
The teacher should begin the lesson with a short whole group activity so that students are appropriately prepared for the kind of material they will encounter in the readings. For example, if students are going to be reading within the section "Nazis in Power," the teacher might show a film clip or do a read-aloud or present a short lecture which captures some of the salient themes of the readings. The class can have a brief discussion before splitting into groups. During the warm-up the teacher can also frame the activity with a few essential questions.
Once students are in their discussion groups, each group will be assigned a reading from the day's topic. Students will be given time to read the selection silently and to fill in their role sheet. Once students are ready, they will meet with their group and have a 15-30 minute discussion of the reading. The teacher can rotate and sit in with different groups. Additionally, the teacher can provide reminders of the essential questions if he feels as though the groups are losing focus.
At the end of the discussion, the teacher should bring students together for a debrief of and reflection on the readings. The teacher may pose questions which will draw out the commonalities among the readings or conduct a "popcorn" session in which students freely share their impressions, emotions and intellectual repsonses to the respective texts.
A Humanities teacher may choose to conduct non-fiction literature circles throughout the Facing History unit to reinforce the scope and sequence and provide daily opportunity for student-centered discussion.
By doing a jigsaw at the end of the discussion period, students will have an opportunity to share their reading with their classmates. Also, teachers will have the opportunity to informally assess how carefully students read the assigned text. When the jigsaw is finished, teachers can do a casual oral or written "quiz" to see if students effectively taught one another the material.
|non-fiction book list.pdf||7.45 KB|