Engaging fluent readers using literature circles

How do we keep students engaged and encourage them to become lifelong readers? How can we provide a balance between teacher-guided and self-directed reading? This practical research-based workshop will explore literature circles (student–led book clubs) as a way for students to apply the knowledge they have about reading and writing. Literature circles provide a unique model of student-led learning that builds reading mileage in a meaningful and enjoyable way.

Literature circles have many benefits by providing

  • a natural forum for discussion that leads to student inquiry and critical thinking.
  • a balance between wide and close reading
  • choice and encouraging responsibility
  • opportunities for interaction and collaboration
  • opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation

This workshop is supported by a Wikispace that includes a comprehensive range of downloadable material that will enable teachers to easily implement literature circles into their classroom programmes. The material has been successfully trialled with 10-14 year old students.

Teachers of Year 6, 7 & 8 students, RTLB’s, RT Lits and Learning Support teachers at Year 9 and 10 level.

The workshop will also cover

  • What are literature circles?
  • How to set up and manage literature circles
  • Developing a positive group culture among group members
  • Student roles and discussion prompts
  • Recommended texts for different levels
  • Ideas for text responses


“Great seminar – really enjoyed the stimulus. I will implement this reading strategy into my school as it has real benefits. I am aligning this to student-centered classrooms and learning and teaching, as I am keenly interested in this as a way forward for our school and teachers. Fabulous. Thank you Sheena.”
Trevor Diamond, Henderson South School
“A practical insightful workshop! Really enjoyed learning about literature circles. I can’t wait to start using them in my classroom.”
Kate Manson, Opihi College
“Thank you Sheena, Can’t wait to use this in the classroom. Love that it’s independent, lateral learning based on a love of literature. A practical and purposeful workshop. Many thanks.”
Lara Hall, Westport North School