This term, Year 5 and 6 students commenced their Term 2 Literature Circle (LC) units with 45 LC teams meeting weekly to discuss a group novel in online Zoom meetings and breakout sessions. To make this unit possible Mrs Gail Mitchell our Head of Primary, Mr Adrian Ford our Deputy Head of Primary and Mrs Sarah Jennings our Curriculum/Honours Program Coordinator kindly took on 1-2 LC novels, along with our Teacher Librarians and the amazing Year 5 and 6 teaching staff, to ensure that every team was steered by a passionate and committed leader, promoting deep engagement, discussion and connection with students. This week as students returned to school we had the privilege of seeing each LC group in action and finally had the chance to meet in person.
Year 5 Literature Circles Focus
The Year 5 students have read a variety of genres for their first LC unit which has encouraged them to read widely and not always judge a book by its cover. Students completed weekly activities based on the chapters they have read and participated weekly in discussions about their novels, exploring ways to share, respond and connect to the novel, describing key events and characters, making predictions and summarising narrative elements. This week they are predicting the end of their novel or creating a plot twist. We look forward to hearing about their creative ideas at our next iDiscover library session!
Year 5 LC Reflections
When I first started my LC book I wasn’t sure it was something I’d normally read, but as I read my novel I was amazed at the lessons I learned and the courage the main character Catherine showed in dealing with a brother with special needs and the feelings of loneliness she experienced looking for friends. I’ve learnt not to judge people with special needs and to always remember that life is not normal like the main character Catherine thinks. As I continue reading I hope Catherine will discover that life is a fragile yet beautiful thing. I will always know that life can be shown in everything, especially books. The LC book has had lessons learned in the past, present and future. The one thing I truly like about the LC novels is that they give you an outstanding imagination. Through the ups and downs always remember to read. Amelia
I’ve enjoyed being able to share my love for books with other people and the challenge of completing the activities, because you never know what you’re going to be asked to do. I hope we get to do LCs again. Max
I’ve liked reading a new series and sharing about the book with my LC group. Soraya
I enjoy spending time with Mrs Jennings and reading the book with the group. There was an unexpected moment in the book that shocked me. I’m hoping it has a happy ending. Eli
I enjoy the Literature Circle activities. My favourite was the tightening tension activity where we used the senses to write down what a character saw, heard, touched, tasted, smelled and felt. Lily
I really like ‘Extra Time’ because it’s interesting and soccer is my favourite sport and it talks about it in the book. THANK YOU so much for letting me read this book. Riley
I took on the role of LC leader and loved guiding the LC discussion. Abi
I’ve loved reading the book and sharing about it with my friends. Quinn
I’ve really enjoyed the ‘Wombat Warriors’ because it’s based on a real story and I get to hang out with Mrs Mitchell and my friends. Mia
I love the book ‘Extra Time’ because soccer is my favourite sport and it is really interesting. The author Felice Arena really hooks the reader into reading Extra Time, just like his other books. Luther
I have enjoyed reading a different genre for LCs and spending time with my friends and discussing the book. Samantha
To Mrs McKellar, Thank you so much for preparing all the LC meetings and slides. I’m sure it would have taken a lot of time. I really liked the book I read. Thank you for everything. Nate
Literature circles have been encouraging and fun. They make you want to improve and get a higher reading ability. The thriller books have been most thrilling, with powerful tension, begging to be read further. Unfortunately, at some point you need to stop, having to wait to read the next chapter makes you unable to sleep with the cliffhangers the chapters leave for you. Literature Circles have really made a difference across all of Year 5 and should definitely not be stopped in the coming years. Olivia
Year 6 Literature Circles Focus
Year 6 students have been reading books set during a time of war or conflict as part of their Library iDiscover lessons. As well as learning about life in a different time period and different places around the world, students have encountered characters that have been challenged to endure or overcome difficult circumstances. Although at times quite sad, the novels portray life in a time in history where the people were courageous, performed acts of bravery or kindness and showed us the real value of friends and family.
Each week during an online Zoom session, the students were excited to connect with their small group who were also reading that same book and together they’ve been discussing different aspects of the stories much like a ‘Book Club’ event but in the online space. There’s been much rich discussion about the books but also about making connections to our COVID-19 journey and the challenges that it has presented for each of us to endure or overcome. Reading about how a character rises to a challenge or is confronted by difficulty, gives us insight into the different ways we can respond and also helps us understand that we can grow through times of challenge increasing our compassion and understanding of others. Online Literature Circles have certainly been a wonderful opportunity to share an experience a little differently to a discussion group at school and the students have done a superb job at learning to communicate in Zoom.
We look forward to sharing face:face discussion times for the remainder of the term – and of course to finding out the conclusion to the stories we’ve been reading together.
Year 6 LC Reflections
The most exciting and challenging part of ‘The Great Escape’ is when Peter is separated from the others at the beginning of the story. It’s a bit like being separated from our friends during COVID-19. Connor
Everyone in Year 6 should read ‘The Bomber Dog’! It’s a fantastic story with lots of action. It’s pretty amazing to think of a dog parachuting out of a plane! – ‘The Bomber Dog Team’ Luca, Hannah, Abbey, Amali, Joy, RJ and Mrs Morris
What I’ve liked the most about my book ‘Yoko’s Diary’ is that it’s written in Yoko’s own words… it’s her story. I also like how Yoko is trying her best in a very hard time and that she doesn’t complain because she knows how much the people in war are hurting. This is something we can learn from that can help us during COVID-19. Rachel
I think Zoom and the breakout rooms were really fun. I liked how we went into the breakout rooms with our team and discussed the book with Mrs Mitchell. I’ve found reading the book ‘Once’ really interesting even though there are a number of sad parts in the story. Literature Circles are fun especially when we can discuss and say what we discovered in the story about what is happening to Felix and Zelda. Breeanna
I enjoyed being the ‘Detective’ and finding interesting words to share with my team. James
Thank you so much for organising Literature Circles Mrs Morris – I thoroughly enjoy it. I have been learning a lot of different reading skills and I enjoy the extra research that I’ve been doing about the book. So many people have connected to Hana’s story through ‘Hana’s Suitcase’ and it’s a story that has been shared around the World in 45 different countries and translated into different languages – impacting young children to make a difference. Oliver
I like Literature Circles because you get to explore the novel and what it’s about and hear the opinions of others in the group and how they see the story.
It may be different opinions or thoughts to mine but it’s nice to hear other people’s connections to the story. I have enjoyed Zoom because I haven’t been seeing my classmates and friends faces and it was a new fun different way of interacting with them. Isabella
Small group discussions – ‘Winnie’s Great War’
Vanessa McKellar and Beryl Morris, Teacher Librarians