Strategy: Digital Literature Circles
Application: Reading, Writing and Speaking Skills, Collaboration
Content Area: Any


Traditional literature circles are a when students work in small groups to discuss a text in detail. The object, much like a Socratic Seminar, is to make meaning and understanding through student driven discussion. In literature circles, students are usually given a "lens" or a specific perspective of the text to bring to their discussion. In recent years, teachers have worked to incorporate technology such as Google Docs, Wikis, iPads and other web 2.0 tools to make preparation for these face to face circles more transparent and collaborative and to make the actual discussion more "digitally" enhanced and engaging for students. Although traditionally something done in English classes, this approach will work for discussing text and improving literacy skills in any subject area.

Notes From the Field

I have worked with English and history teachers for several years to develop and refine this approach and the results I have witnessed make it one of the top "best practices" I know of for engaging students in self directed analysis and discussion of text. It can be adapted for any type of text from novels to articles to informational text in any subject area. By creatively adapting the "lenses," teachers can focus reading on content specific skills and big ideas.
Recommendations and Tips
  • Don't be overwhelmed! There is some initial set up to the process, but once this is done, it can be utilized year after year. I am here to help you!
  • See resources below


Back to What's Hot