Monday, 20 February 2012

Les cercles littéraires

Last week at school I introduced les cercles littéraires, or Literature Circles. This is a cooperative learning activity where each student in a group has a different role to play. The roles include different reading strategies, such as asking questions, summarizing, making connections, illustrating and finding new vocabulary words. In my classes, we are all reading the same book for literature circles, but it can be done where students choose a book on their own in groups. Before I was able to start literature circles in French, I spent two lessons on explaining the different roles and then assigning the roles. I also gave time in class to read the first chapter of the book Valentine Picotée by Dominique Demers (A short novel which works well for junior level readers, and fits perfectly for a February Valentines Day themed read). I had to really emphasize that when students meet in their groups they must speak in French, and each person must do their part in order for the literature circles to work. On the day of our first literature circle meetings, there were some students who did not complete their role and they let their group down. It is important to give time in class to start working on the roles, and not leave all of it for homework. Another name for les cercles littéraires is les cercles de lecture. If you are interested in starting up les cercles littéraires, here is a blog dedicated to literature circles. Happy reading!

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