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Mystery Literature Circles Why Lit Circles? Literature Circles engage students in literature; it causes them to reflect, retell and relate to what they read. It enhances the meaning of what they read because they develop that meaning themselves and with their peers through oral and visual communication. Literature Circles act as a guide to deeper understanding due to the student guided approach to addressing literature, but it also sets up a structure that the student can follow to be successful. Katherine L. Schlick Noe & Nancy J. Johnson What is a mystery? A crime is committed. In finding the criminal, a detective (or someone who takes on a detective-like role)– the most fully drawn character in the story – must unravel a web of clues before pinning down the suspect! How does this work? Your novel is divided into three sections. a. You must read the assigned pages before each meeting (see your book mark), b. and complete the assigned literature circle role before the due date: discussion director, advice columnist, sequencer, or character STEAL-er. c. Your literature circle role must be typed (except for the character STEAL-er). d. If it is not typed, you will not be able to participate in the literature circle; therefore, you must plan ahead to be sure you have a place to type and a printer – the LRC, Mondays through Thursdays, or the computer lab on Wednesdays. e. You may bring a snack for your entire group. f. On the due date, you will get into your book group, show your typed work to the teacher, and do the second part of your literature circle role starting with the sequencer, character STEAL-er, discussion director, and, finally, the advice columnist. g. Mrs. Donovan will walk around and observe your active and group listening skills for a grade! h. Your group will turn in all materials in order with notes from the day’s work. i. Finally, you will do a self and peer assessment. What are the Literature Circle Roles? If you are the Sequencer for the group that day, do this BEFORE you meet: Write eight sentences using your own words that include the important events that occurred during the reading (like retelling what happened in those pages). Each sentence should be a different event. For each event, be sure you have included the answers to the following questions: Who? Did What? When? and Where? Type these on a separate sheet of paper with space to cut; make an extra copy for yourself. Cut out the sentences so that each one is on a separate slip of paper – make the edges jagged so that no one tries to cheat! When your group meets, have them put the events in order by taping them to another sheet of paper – do not help, but do observe them carefully and takes notes about how they communicate with each other to get the job done. Staple the slips of paper in this order. Decide together which sentence tells the most important thing that happened in your reading, and place a star next to it. Turn this in! If you are the Advice Columnist for the group that day, do this BEFORE you meet… What is the conflict in the story? Choose a character from your story who is affected by the problem or conflict. Pretend you are that character and write a friendly letter to "Dr. Phil" explaining your problem. Be sure to include background details about how this conflict came about and a complete description of the conflict (200 words). Type these on a separate sheet of paper with space for the group’s response. Don't forget to sign your letter! When your group meets, share the letter by reading it aloud. On the back of this page, your group should write "Dr. Phil" letter back to your character. Include ideas on how the character can solve the conflict (100 words). Turn this in! If you are the Character STEAL-er for the group that day, do this BEFORE you meet… As you read the assigned section of your novel… a. keep track of the characters who are mentioned in this section and how they fit into the plot; b. choose one character to analyze for STEAL when your group meets and write down some page numbers where this characters is involved! It is best to choose a character who is most important in this section of the novel! When you meet with your group… a. review the names and importance of characters mentioned and/or involved in this section; b. add any information your group has to add; c. choose one character and do a STEAL analysis on the character as a group by dividing the letters, S-T-E-A-L, and having each member find a text example. Be sure to give them some pages numbers that you wrote down, Novel: ______________________________________ Page #: _____________________________________ Names of Page #’s in which My Brief Helping/Supporting Group Additions to My Characters in This this Character is Description of the resolution of the Notes Mentioned, Acts, Section or Speaks…. How the central conflict – OR – Character Fits complicating the into the Plot conflict and HOW Text example What this reveals about his/her personality S – Speech: find quotes from this character that show “how” he/she talks like accents or phrases that he/she likes to use; what does this reveal about his or her personality (educated, rich, poor, poser); if they use complex language, they may well be intelligent. If they swear, they may be angry or crude. If they talk a lot, they may be social or nervous. What they do not say also says something about them. If they say little, they may be introverted or timid. If they avoid talking about a crime, perhaps they are guilty. T – Thoughts: find sentences from the narrator or quotes that show how this character thinks about others, life, self (negative, positive) E – Effect on Others: The way a person interacts with other person says a great deal about their character. This shows factors such as compassion and social understanding. See if he or she gets emotions out of a person Do they cause repulsion, fear, worry, or love from others? Are others attracted to them or move away ?The way others react to a character also says a lot about them. Are they popular or alone? Are they leaders or followers? Do others help them or ignore them? A –Action: find examples of this character’s actions that reveal something about his/her personality; how do they act with others (helpful, selfish); how does he/she act under stress L – Looks: find examples of how he or she looks (age, style, hygiene, clothes) that reveals something about his/her personality; can you decide if he or she is rich, poor, middle class, poser? If you are the Discussion Director for your group, do this BEFORE you meet: Create 8 thoughtful questions for your group to answer orally. You must create two discussion questions from each of the four categories: literal, inferential, interpretive and your own thoughts. Type these on a separate sheet of paper with space to takes notes on the group’s responses and ideas on the day of the literature circle. 2 Literal Questions (Right There Questions - the answer is right there in the story. You can point to the answer. The words used to make up the question are often the same words that are in the answer): Define the meaning of ___________________________________ Where was ___________________________________________ Name as many ________________________________________ Describe in your own words ______________________________ What happened when ___________________________________ What are the characters doing to solve the problem of ___________ Which character _______________________________________ OR create your own literal questions. 2 Inferential Questions (Think and Search Questions - the answer is in the text, but it needs to be put together with different pieces of information from the book. You have to think and search for the answer): How would you compare ________________________________ Choose the best _______________________________________ How could the character _________________________________ What is the difference between ____________________________ OR create your own inferential questions. 2 Interpretive Questions (the Author and Me Questions - you need to think about what you know and what the author has said in the text. The answer will be from both the author and you as you infer meaning. The answer won't be found on the printed page, but the information to answer the question is there): Predict what would happen if ______________________________ Why did the author include ________________________________ Can you prove that ______________________________________ What was the author's purpose when _________________________ What will happen when ___________________________________ Why did the character ____________________________________ OR create your own interpretive questions. 2 My Own Thoughts. The answer is not in the story. The question is asking for your own thoughts about something in the story. It can be creative or open-ended and there is no right or wrong answer, but the answer should be supported by the text and your personal experiences and beliefs. Assess how I would feel if _________________________________ How would I improve ____________________________________ How did I feel when _____________________________________ Why do I think _________________________________________ Was it fair when ________________________________________ OR create your own "my thoughts" questions. When your group meets, read your questions to the group and take notes on the responses. Be sure to get a response from each group member and rotate who begins to answer each question.
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