Over the summer I explored Academic Reading Circles (ARC) with pre-sessional students and was impressed with the depth of reading comprehension and quality of discussion they prompted. The students found them both valuable and enjoyable.
So this term I looked for something similar to use with my children’s reading classes and came across Literature Circles. There are numerous good websites freely offering explanations and role cards written for children of all ages. This website offers role cards written for lower, middle and upper school children.
However, my reading classes are one-to-one. Is it possible to adapt Literature Circles for only one student? The only way I can think of doing it is by having the student choose one role card per class and preparing that role.
Doing it this way obviously doesn’t allow for a detailed discussion of the text (which is kinda the point of a Literature Circle) but it does still encourage a closer reading and ‘train’ the student in ways to approach a text. Most importantly, it is student-centered, encouraging the student to focus on aspects of the text they are interested in and create their own questions.
Some of the roles can be undertaken in class, others may need to be assigned as homework tasks. The idea is that the student randomly picks a role each lesson until all the roles have been used. I will also take a role each class to model.