Novels for Literature Circles

Discussion in 'Sixth Grade' started by Lifecoach, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Lifecoach

    Lifecoach Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2007

    Hello everyone! I'm in the midst of planning the ELA component of my Humanities class and I'm looking for some good novel recommendations. Last year, I tried using literature circles for the first time and my students really liked it (we started with the novel "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis). In your opinion, what novels lend themselves toward literature circles for 6th graders?
     
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick.
    Freak the Mighty.
     
  4. Lifecoach

    Lifecoach Rookie

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    Thanks for the suggestions thus far, BR.
     
  5. ms_teacher

    ms_teacher Companion

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    Aug 16, 2007

    When I student taught in 6th grade we read Maniac Magee... The kids really loved it!!!
     
  6. Lifecoach

    Lifecoach Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Great ideas! When I had 8th graders for Sustained Silent Reading, the students really liked listening to The City of Ember. Thanks so much for the suggestion, Ms Teacher!
     
  7. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    Island of the Blue Dolphins
     
  8. Mishmosh

    Mishmosh Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    The kids love Maniac Magee, as someone mentioned, but I think it's a little too deep for literature circles. The kids miss a lot of the nuances and meaning. I like using Bridge to Terabithia, b/c it's just a straightforward story that the kids like and don't need too much guidance with.
     
  9. ms_teacher

    ms_teacher Companion

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    Maniac Magee is a book with many underlying themes, such as racial separation and racism. It is deep and we did discuss it. This is one of the reasons why I LOVE the older grades, we can have many in-depth, informative, discussions. We were able to have a lesson centered around the discussion of Hurricane Katrina and even a few socratic seminars (although this is off the topic of literature circles... :cool:)
     
  10. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Aug 18, 2007

    The lang arts teacher in my school uses The Great Gilly Hopkins and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with the sixth graders.
     
  11. Lifecoach

    Lifecoach Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    Thank you again, everyone, for the suggestions. I really like the plot of Maniac Magee and I'm familiar with Roll of Thunder, Here My Cry because the 7th grade Humanities teacher used it with his class last year. I'm also thinking about using Virginia Hamilton's M.C. Higgins the Great, although that may be too simplistic for a 6th grader. In any case, please keep the suggestions coming! :)
     
  12. Nick_A

    Nick_A Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2007

    I used Where the Red Fern Grows and The Westing Game in my class. The kids loved both books. We had lots of tears (and GREAT discussions) at the end of Red Fern.
     
  13. imalith

    imalith Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    lit circle books

    City of Ember
    Tale of Desperaux (easier and good for lower readers)
    There is a Girl in my Hammerlock
    Freak the Mighty
    Brian's Winter
    Lily's Crossing
    The Applegates (?)


    I have more, but I can't think of them! I know I use another adventure book with an author from Montana, North...something. It is really good about two boys trapped in the Canadian wilderness when their waterplane and pilot gets swept over a waterfall. One boy's uncle is there too, but he doesn't speak English. Anyone know the title?
     
  14. DOBY

    DOBY Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    Hi, how do you begin a lit. circle. My second year and I will like to add that to my teaching this school year. Can someone tell me exactly how this is carried out. Thanks.
     
  15. Mr. D.

    Mr. D. Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2007

    My sixth graders have really enjoyed Holes, Among the Hidden series, Spirit Bear, Stargirl, and Thief Lord. Hope that helps.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 21, 2007

    I am trying to implement lit circles also-I have used informal groups before, but I don't feel like I have to the full extent that I could. I am team teaching reading with the Title teacher this year (yikes-I am feeling a bit intimidated by that) and I really want to do a good job. My main concerns are:

    planning-if I have 3-4 different groups going, what is the best way to continually have activities for each group to do?

    materials-I am a bit limited in the books I have to choose from. Is it hard to keep groups going with novels, all in different spots? Is it better to choose short leveled readers, and if so, how many times should it be read?

    responsibilities-I have talked with the Title teacher briefly, but I really don't want to seem like a rookie! This is my third year, but my last two classes have been high enough that I did not receive any services.

    management and accountability-where do I start?????!!!

    I have been researching online and I have a few ideas, but any recommendations you all have here would be greatly helpful!

    Thanks,
    kcjo
     
  17. Sixer

    Sixer New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Cndn Wilderness book

    I think the book you are referring to is called Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ooh, I don't think that poster is talking about Hatchet. Hatchet has only one character (Brian) and he is in a plane crash, but it doesn't go over a waterfall. And there is no uncle. Great book! But not this one...
     
  19. DOBY

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    Hi everyone. Curiosity satisfied. I got all the information I needed from a friend of mine on lit. circle. Basically what I thought it was, but you know a little more. Anyway, I will be glad to implement this method to be more effective.

    True confession of Charlotte Doyle, Lupita Manaya, are good sixth grade novels. My students loved the story last year. I hope to use the Macgee...........oops I forgot the name. I heard it's real good.
     
  20. rockets24

    rockets24 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    My absolute favorite book that I use in 6th grade is Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun. It was one I had never heard of before, but I couldn't imagine not doing it now! It tells about a boy who is part of a gang and ends up going back in time and working on a plantation. Very good discussion book.
     
  21. dreaming_luke

    dreaming_luke Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    I would recommend to anyone either starting or using literary circles to read Faye Brown's book. Great ideas with management, routines, and responses. I have used ideas from this book for years. Every year I keep what is working really well, and build on.
     
  22. imalith

    imalith Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2007

    Far North

    I finally remembered the book! It is written by Will Hobbs.
     
  23. khteach6

    khteach6 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2007


    NO--I think it is Northern Lights???
     
  24. Sixer

    Sixer New Member

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    Aug 25, 2007

    I think the book is actually called FAR NORTH by Bill Hobbs.
     
  25. khteach6

    khteach6 New Member

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    You're right! Northern Lights is the one by Phillip Pullman! Sorry! Far North is a great read though. Thanks for reminding me of it!
     
  26. FallCreekGal82

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    Aug 26, 2007

    I recently took a young adult literature class, as well as taught Title I to 6th graders for a year. Here are a few recommendations that haven't been listed.

    Holes by Louis Sachar
    Watsons Go to Burmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
    Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
    Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs
    Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan
     
  27. waddanis

    waddanis New Member

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    Aug 27, 2007

    I have been teaching 6th grade for 10 years and a novel that I teach in Literature Circle that I never get tired of is Tuck Everlasting Great Book to use in Literature Circles.
     
  28. PurpleTweety

    PurpleTweety Companion

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    The Cay, Adam of the Road, Sounder, the above mentioned Hatchet, Number the Stars (yes, its short, but due to context I wouldn't go lower). I also do the Pushcart War every year and it is the overwhelming student favourite every year.
     
  29. Researcher

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    Sep 9, 2007

    Literature Circles

    Hello,
    We've previously used:

    A Single Shard - Linda Sue Park
    Wrinkle in Time - M. L'engle

    Both of which, students loved.
     
  30. cair

    cair Rookie

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    Where the Red Fern Grows is a wonderful book. Following the book... and research... we viewed the movie. Even though the movie was good, the kids noted the book was better. Hmmm.... The kids were right! :)
    cair
     
  31. Reb0028

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    Oct 1, 2007

    We just read Freak the Mighty and its great!! The kids loved it too. YOu could also do Max the Mighty as a follow up.

    The next book we are doing is The GOlden Goblet.
     
  32. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    I teach 6th grade and I love teaching reading. My students are from an inner-city and are mostly Hispanic. Here are some books my students liked... How Tia Lola Came to Stay, Stargirl, Becoming Naomi Leon, Kira-Kira, Picture of Hollis Woods, Ida B. Enjoy
     
  33. DOBY

    DOBY Rookie

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    helppppp! Second year teaching and 6th grade on both years ,i started lit. circle this school year but was not consitent. Any ideas on how anyone does lit. circle and with consistency? i would really appreciate it:confused:. May be i am doing something wrong.:unsure:
     
  34. WorldTraveler

    WorldTraveler Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2008

    lit circles

    I taught lit circles toward the end of the year with my 6th graders. Each student has a job (Discussion Director, Word Wizard, Literary Luminary, Illustrator, Questioner, Connector/Predictor) for 1 day. They start class by discussing their job from the previous day. Then they read silently, with a partner, or both. After they finish reading they do a new job. The jobs rotate everyday in the same order so they always know what job they will have. On some days I would give each group a different question that they discuss and answer on a white board and we talk about at the end of class. It works well.

    I know some teachers that don't use the jobs...if students have a connection/prediction, question, want to summarize, found an unfamiliar word...they just write them. Simple but students must be motivated and not lazy!

    I hope this helps!
     
  35. DOBY

    DOBY Rookie

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    Thanks World traveler:). I guess the best time for lit. circle will be the end of the year then. I tried it in the middle of school with all the other activities going on i guess i never followed through. I also assigned jobs and had them in groups of six and the wolud rotate lit. book for different assignments on each group, i guess time was my enemy.:(
     
  36. Picabo

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    Jun 26, 2008

    What is the title of this book? I'd really like to check it out!


     
  37. cair

    cair Rookie

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    I will make sure to get Faye Brown's book... thanks.
    cair
     
  38. dbelmo

    dbelmo Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2008

    ? for World Traveler-- would you be able to PM specific directions on your lit. circle jobs. We are participating in Battle of the Books this year and want to be VERY organized!!

    Thanks

    dbelmo
     
  39. cair

    cair Rookie

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    dbelmo... I also use literary circle jobs. I believe..World Traveler's job descriptions are great. I also have 1 person as the checker to make sure all are doing his/her share of work. Another suggestion... I use a baton(paper towel covered in gold material).. when a child wants to comment or speak his mind, he/she must hold the baton. This keeps the group organized and gives all a chance to speak without the others, who are more vocal, take over the group.
     
  40. okjoan

    okjoan Rookie

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    No one uses "The Giver"? It is the book I always use. I love that it promote higher level thinking and that the messages of the book are so slowly revealed. I also like that there is not a neat, sweet ending....the kids are left to draw their own conclusions.
     
  41. Writer02

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    Jul 2, 2008

    I can't use the Giver as it's a 7th grade novel in our district. We try not to step on each other's toes with the required reading lists.

    We read The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. It's funny and also includes serious racial issues of the time period. I also read Tiger Rising as a read aloud toward the end of the year. It's on audio CD, so it's easy for me to "read aloud" as the kids read along in the books. We started lit. circles about mid-year with Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I like the ideas of assigning jobs to everyone. I didn't get that far this past year but intend to use them this coming school year. For certain novel units, I assinged a block day for lit. circles. These classes are longer and allow more time for this sort of thing to get doen during the class period.
     

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