Encouraging students to use “accountable talk” in literature circles when analyzing novels and texts.

by Amber Wilson

In this series of videos, I take participants through a protocol that extends the traditional literature circle. They test out the protocol on a piece of text that I give my AP seniors where the goal is to identify and support with evidence how the author uses indirect characterization.

Part One: Introduction

In part one of the workshop, I describe the benefits and limits of traditional literature circles. Then I describe the protocols I’ve developed to extend literature circles to meet the new requirements of the Common Core State Standards.

Part Two: Using Dialectical Journals

In part two of the workshop, I assign a complex piece of text to read, then ask participants to use a dialectical journal to analyze a character. First they cite what the text says, then they notate what they say it means. Finally, they draw conclusions about what the author is saying overall about a character. A discussion follows.

Part Three: Demonstrating the Strategy

In part three of the workshop, groups present and support their claims about how the author uses indirect characterization to describe the character, Estrella. Then we discuss how this protocol can be used beyond literature circles and in different settings.