Looking into Literature Circles (VHS)

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9781571103369: Looking into Literature Circles (VHS)
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Book clubs are forming in classrooms all across the country, with small groups of students from kindergarten through high school leading their own lively literature discussions. This promising movement has drawn many of its key ideas and management procedures from Harvey Daniels' book, Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, second edition. But teachers who are new to literature circles sometimes have questions that no book can quite answer: What do the groups look like? How do they operate? What kinds of questions do students raise when running their own discussions? What is the atmosphere in the room during literature circle meetings? And what is the teachers' role in all of this?

Looking into Literature Circles fills that gap, providing a window into book clubs in action. Rather than focusing on management details, this video conveys the feel, the atmosphere, the climate, and the energy of literature circles at work. We visit three public schools: a third-grade dual-language program, a high school English class, and a parent book club meeting. In each location, we see and hear students (and parents) running their own conversations, digging into books, and connecting them to their lives. Along the way, Harvey Daniels points out some key organizing structures, including response logs, role sheets, and Post-it notes. Kids tell us how they feel when working in a book club, enjoying natural, open-ended conversations about books with their friends. Teachers show how they form and support groups, keeping the structure fresh and productive. And parents testify not just about the benefits of their own literature discussions but also about how school book clubs can cause a rebirth of reading by all family members at home.

Shot in documentary style in busy inner-city classrooms, this videotape captures kids' spontaneous and authentic conversations about books and the ideas they find in them. For teachers who believe that producing life-long readers is their primary educational mission, Looking into Literature Circles is an inspiring and concrete look at what can happen when kids and books come together.

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From School Library Journal:

This video is intended to supplement Harvey Daniel's book, Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in the Student-Centered Classroom (Stenhouse, 1994), and to answer questions not easily covered in the book. The video begins with Daniels, who is seated in front of a literature circle, talking about how the video is intended to complement his book by presenting literature circles in action. This short presentation consists primarily of footage of literature groups in three Chicago area public schools, a third grade bilingual classroom, a tenth grade classroom, and a parent group. Brief narration is provided by Daniels. The video has an amateurish feel and poor sound quality. Daniels does provide a few tips on how to facilitate literature circles, but educators unfamiliar with the dynamics of these groups will require more information than is provided in the video. The viewing guide for the video, which is available on the publisher's Web site, provides more actual instruction than the video. Educators new to literature circles will be best served by reading Daniels's book.
Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, King County Library System, WA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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