One technique that students really enjoy is the Literature Circle.
The students enjoy it because they have power and make decisions about the
content and direct the circle. There are roles that are defined before
the Literature Circle begins. The number of roles depends on the number
of students in the group.
Some of the roles are the following:
The word finder - selects interesting words for the group - looks up the meaning before the circle and leads the discussion about the words, their meaning, use...They will also become words used in the weekly spelling test.
The Questioner - They use Bloom's Taxonomy (simplified version) to develop at least 5 questions for the group on the reading. They have to prepare the answers for the questions before the Literature Circle.
The Reader - Selects passages for the group to read that are significant to the reader ...perhaps literary, perhaps interesting words, action, emotional, etc. and reads it to the group. Then asks the group to discuss why they think the passages were selected.
The Character Analyzer - Selects passages from the reading that show how the main characters have revealed their characteristics.
The Plot Summarizer - Writes a summary of the reading and shares it with the group.
The students rotate through the roles so that they gain experience with the skills involved. They are very task orientated and really get involved in this activity. It is also low preparation for the teacher, but the teacher must sit with a group at a time and listen in to their discussions to interject ideas, or to demonstrate to the students that their ideas and opinions are important.