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Getting Started with Literature Circles

Implement literature circles in your classroom with the help of this free set of resources. 

This is another free resource for teachers from The Curriculum Corner.

When planning to begin literature circles in your classroom, it is helpful to have a collection of resources to get you started.  

This free assortment will make the process of starting lit circles easier for you.  

Do you have suggestions for additions?  We would love for you to share your ideas below!

You can download the complete, free collection by clicking on the bold, purple words at the bottom of this post.

FREE Getting Started with Literature Circles Collection from The Curriculum Corner | Reading Workshop in 4th and 5th grades

Included in the literature circle download are the following pages:

Literature Circle Planning Page  Designed for the teacher.  This page is a page you can use to divide students into their groups, record the book and other notes.

Guidelines Anchor Chart  Includes guidelines for your class to follow when meeting with their groups.  It is important for this anchor chart to be a part of classroom discussion so that students understand the expectations.  Even better, use the blank one we have provided and work with your students to create your own class set of guidelines.

Literature Circle Jobs Cards  These four cards give the name of each position and describe what is expected. It is important for the teacher to model each job before children perform each task on their own.

Discussion Cards  These can be used by the discussion director or in other ways as needed.  Includes 12 questions designed to get students thinking about their reading.

Literature Circle Guide Cover Page  This can be used if you plan on putting the student pages into a booklet.

Introduction  A place for students to record their group members, book title and other important information.

Literature Circle Reading Plan  Students record the dates they will be meeting and break the book into sections.

Discussion Director  The director plans the meeting by recording five strong questions for the reading.

Word Wizard  The wizard records five words or phrases along with the meaning to prepare for the group discussion.

Connector  The connector records what happened in the book and then shares the connections made.

Super Summarizer  There are two different pages the teacher (or summarizer) can choose between.

Group Notes  You might choose to have one student (the summarizer or director) complete this page after each meeting.  Or, you might have each student complete during each meeting for practice with note taking skills.

Making Connections  A page where students can record a connection for the book.

Visualizing  A simple page for students to share what they read and then illustrate their thoughts.

Exit Tickets  There are two different styles designed to have students reflect on their performance.  These might be used when you need to work to get your students back on track.  We suggest following this task with a small group or whole group discussion.

Story Map

Character Traits

Job descriptions  Not all teachers who use a literature circle approach choose to assign roles.  Depending on your classroom dynamics, assigning roles can lead to students feeling like their only job is the assigned task.  Some students focus only on their job and withdraw, not contributing to group discussions.  If you are concerned this will happen in your classroom, you may choose to assign group tasks as opposed to individual roles and tasks.

You can download the resources here:

Lit Circle Planning & Student Booklet Pages

These posts might also include information to help with your reading workshop:

Preparing Your Reading Workshop

Close Reading: Focus on Process  This post includes information on using think marks while reading. Think marks might be a useful tool for your students to use when preparing for their literature circle discussions.


Preparing Your Reading Workshop - The Curriculum Corner 123

Monday 10th of June 2019

[…] upper grades, you may be looking to try Literature Circles.  This post contains resources planning pages for you, anchor charts and printable pages for […]

Hannah Schut

Monday 11th of February 2019

Do you happen to have these resources in Spanish?

Jill & Cathy

Monday 11th of February 2019

So very sorry, Hannah, but we don't. Neither of us speaks Spanish, so the resources we do have in Spanish...we have had to hire someone to create them.

Katherine Cahill

Sunday 3rd of February 2019

This was so generous to share for free. I've been daunted by implementing "lit circles" and this makes it doable for me! TY!

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Thursday 15th of February 2018

[…] Literature Circles collection has additional resources that can be added to complete your Lit […]

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Friday 29th of December 2017

[…] Literature Circles  […]