Literature Circle: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

In honor of my most recent post on Literature Circles, I decided to share some pictures of a whole class literature circle I just finished with my class using the book  The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.

Aside from the fact that I think this book is a lot of fun, I chose this book because it fit perfectly with Unit 2, Week 2 of our Reading Wonders series stories "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "Wolf! Wolf!"      (a twist on the original Boy Who Cried Wolf). In order to fit it in, I opted for substituting the paired read for this text which is a twist on "The Three Little Pigs".  
To prepare for the literature circles, I made copies of the text and provided one copy to each student. Then, I read the text aloud with them and assigned roles. I allowed my students to vote on which roles they wanted to have. [Note: Up until this point, I had been introducing the different skills needed for the roles on a weekly basis based on the skill of the week specified on the pacing guide (i.e. making connections, asking and answering questions, identifying story elements, and researching a topic), but we had never put them all together.]
 For this particular literature circle  and text, I decided to use 5 roles:
Story Mapper, Connector, Literary Luminary, Discussion Director, and Researcher. Since I decided to use 5 roles I needed to divide my students into 5 groups. I have 23 students in my class so I divided the students into 3 groups of 5 students and 2 groups of 4 students. As I previously mentioned, the students were allowed to pick which role they wanted to perform for this text. Once students were divided into their groups, they worked together to complete their shared task.

Here are some pictures of students working in same role groups:

Word Wizards researching interesting or unfamiliar words

Researchers researching topics of their choice related to the text
Story Mappers working together to identify story elements

Discussion Directors discussing questions to ask their classmates
After students finished their shared task with their group, it was time for them to share their expert knowledge with each other using the jigsaw strategy. Using the jigsaw strategy, I picked one student from each group/role and created a new group of students. I explained jigsaw to them by comparing it to puzzle pieces, I explained that each of them held a piece of the "puzzle" or part of the story and each of them needed to share their piece in order to see/understand the whole picture or whole story.

Before the students began sharing, I went over the rules of Collaborative Conversation I picked up from my colleague More Time 2 Teach. Click {HERE} to download a FREE copy. 

These rules are a great reminder for students on how to behave when sharing or collaborating with their classmates. The students did a great job of following them, however, one rule I found myself having to remind students was to respond with a question or comment. As I walked around to observe the different groups, I noticed several students just reading their responses from their worksheets and moving on to the next person to read. So, I stopped the class for a minute to reiterate the importance of responding to each person with a comment or question and I also sat in with the different groups and modeled or prompted them to ask questions so they could see how doing so promotes more conversation. The students quickly picked up on it and were more consistent about responding to their classmates. Overall, I couldn't be happier with the way they participated and shared with each other being that this was their first time working in the whole group literature circles. I am sure as we continue to engage in literature circles throughout the year it will become second nature to them. 

Here are some pictures of the students working in mixed groups (jigsaw):

Students collaborating to share the information they discovered in their different roles

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures with literature circles. If you don't already implement them in your classroom, I encourage you to do so. Not only do the students love engaging in literature circles, but they empower students to create their own understanding of text and become independent readers. 

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