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Lesson Plan

Give Them a Hand: Promoting Positive Interaction in Literature Circles

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lane Clarke

Cincinnati, Ohio


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Computer with Internet access and projection capability, or video player and monitor

  • Large chart paper and colored construction paper

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1. To prepare yourself for this lesson and others that incorporate literature circles, see the Websites for Teacher Preparation in the Resources section and the publications cited in the Theory to Practice section.

2. Make a copy for each student of Indicators of a Good Book Discussion Group, the Warm/Cool Compliment T-Chart, and the Reflection Worksheet.

3. Trace an outline of your hand and copy onto colored construction paper. Cut out two copies for each student.

4. Decide what model of a good book discussion you will present to students. Suggestions include:


  • Video Clips for Looking into Literature Circles by Harvey Daniels. Links are provided for downloads in Windows Media or QuickTime format, under the heading Video Clips.

  • A video recording of yourself engaging in a book club discussion with colleagues

  • A "fishbowl" demonstration using a selected group of students

    Note: These students would discuss a previously read text while the rest of the class observed. Be sure to choose students who can demonstrate the qualities of a good discussion group.
Arrange for any necessary computer or video equipment to show your chosen example.

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