60 How to Discuss/Present Literature

Discuss in a Literature Circle

A literature circle is a small group of readers who discuss their reading in depth. There are many possible ways to form a literature circle; usually, each participant in a lit circle has a different job. If you do work in a lit circle, then each participant can choose one or more of the Study Guide questions and work on them independently before getting together with other members of the circle. Some suggested roles for members of a lit circle are:

  • Questioner: This person either writes or answers several comprehension questions about the reading. They should have a clear idea about the answers. They asked the group their questions and lead a discussion about them. The questioner may want to bring a handout for other members of the circle with their questions printed on it.
  • Character expert: This person defines who the major characters are and describes their characters. They choose adjectives and quotations to support their ideas. This person may want to bring a handout with pictures or drawings of the characters to support their ideas.
  • Summarizer: This person creates a summary of the plot to share with the group. This person might choose a timeline, a narrative arc, or a Time-order list as a way to summarize what happens in the story. They might want to bring a handout with their timeline or narrative arc to share with other group members, or they might want to prepare a small poster to share.
  • Clarifier: This person is responsible for explaining some challenging quotations or words to the group. The teacher might assign some phrases, the group might choose some lines, or the clarifier might choose their own difficult parts. They should be able to explain the difficult sections until everyone in the group understands them.
  • Extender: This person goes beyond the story itself to understand it. They may choose to research the author’s life or the time period when the story was written. The extender can think about ways the story connects to today, or focus on predicting what will happen after the story ends. Their goal is to help the group understand the story at a deeper level. Several people can take the role of Extender, but they should focus on different things.

If you choose to complete the study guide in a lit circle, meet in your group to divide the tasks fairly. Your teacher may prefer you to discuss the reading in your circle, then use your notes to complete the study guide, or they may prefer you to complete the study guide as part of the literature circle discussion.

Poster Presentation

To prepare a poster presentation, a group will work in a similar way to the literature circle. Each person should have a specific job within the group. Each person should be responsible for choosing and creating an attractive visual that explains some aspect of the story: setting, characters, plot, context, and meaning. As a group, design your poster, following any specific requirements your teacher gives you. You may choose to present your poster verbally to the class, or simply share by displaying it to everyone.

Slideshow Presentation

You might want to do this type of presentation individually or work in a group. Your teacher might provide a basic slide show for you to complete. Include pictures – always remember to give the source for every picture! – and quotes from the story. Present your slideshow to the class and explain each slide. This is a great opportunity to be creative.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Advanced English Copyright © 2021 by Allison Kilgannon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book