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Language ArtsLiterature Study Circles in a Multicultural Classroom, by Katherine Davies Samway and Gail Whang, is a concise account of how to set up a literature circle in the classroom, explaining in detail the important components of any effort. Many ideas on how to get started are discussed.
The authors stress the role of the teacher as an active listener in the literature circle. By listening carefully to the student-initiated discussions, the teacher can determine the appropriate assignment for the group. Minilessons are conducted based on the student needs observed by the teacher.
This book provides many valuable resources to aid teachers in the implementation of literature study circles. A rich array of ideas for how to obtain books is presented including book club orders, PTA assistance, or grant support, and the book includes appendices listing popular authors and books for fifth and sixth grades, including multicultural selections. In keeping with the practical quality of the presentation, classroom management suggestions are presented throughout.
Several of our reviewers commented that Literature Study Circles would be a valuable resource for establishing a book discussion program in their classroom. The book helped them realize the significance of student choice, and the bibliography was useful for literature selection. We found the student-centered activities to be sound and applicable to any age group of students. Literature Study Circles in a Multicultural Classroom will be an excellent resource for teachers who seek to guide children's exploration of the power of literature.