dilemma · literature circles

Literature Circle Dilemma

Picture this scenario:

A class of middle school students, grades 6 – 8, were given a choice of three books and were placed in a group of their first or second choice. There are three literature circle groups of seven students each. They are expected to read a chapter in preparation for each book group meeting, which happens twice per week. Although there are no worksheets to fill out, students assume a different literature circle “role” every time the group meets.

What do you do when, time after time, certain students in a book group are not prepared for the group discussion? They haven’t read the chapters agreed upon by the group so they are not ready to have a conversation with their peers.

In desperation, do you assign worksheets to these students while the rest of the group members discuss the book? Do you give them another chance the next day or during the group discussion to catch up? Do you investigate why they weren’t able to complete the assignment? Do you problem solve a solution with these students?? Or do you just ignore this behaviour and let the groups continue as is??

I look forward to reader comments.

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