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Looking Into Literature Circles

Maple Leaf This item is only available for Canadian orders.

Catalogue Number:  000112
Producer:  Stenhouse Publishers
Subject:  Professional Development
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Educators
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2001
Running Time:  15

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Book clubs are forming in classrooms all across the country, with small groups of students from kindergarten through high school leading their own lively literature discussions. This promising movement has drawn many of its key ideas and management procedures from Harvey Daniels' book, Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, second edition. But teachers who are new to literature circles sometimes have questions that no book can quite answer: What do the groups look like? How do they operate? What kinds of questions do students raise when running their own discussions? What is the atmosphere in the room during literature circle meetings? And what is the teachers' role in all of this?

Looking into Literature Circles fills that gap, providing a window into book clubs in action. Rather than focusing on management details, this video conveys the feel, the atmosphere, the climate, and the energy of literature circles at work. We visit three public schools: a third-grade dual-language program, a high school English class, and a parent book club meeting. In each location, we see and hear students (and parents) running their own conversations, digging into books, and connecting them to their lives. Along the way, Harvey Daniels points out some key organizing structures, including response logs, role sheets, and Post-it notes. Kids tell us how they feel when working in a book club, enjoying natural, open-ended conversations about books with their friends. Teachers show how they form and support groups, keeping the structure fresh and productive. And parents testify not just about the benefits of their own literature discussions but also about how school book clubs can cause a rebirth of reading by all family members at home.

Shot in documentary style in busy inner-city classrooms, this video captures kids' spontaneous and authentic conversations about books and the ideas they find in them. For teachers who believe that producing life-long readers is their primary educational mission, Looking into Literature Circles is an inspiring and concrete look at what can happen when kids and books come together.

About the Author

Harvey Daniels received all of his degrees -- B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. -- from Northwestern University, which finally urged him to leave campus and get a real job.


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