Literature Circles

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Directions: Literature circles are designed to be modest groups of heroes who come together to share and discuss a famous legend at great length. This hero centered approach is not driven by your Lorekeeper. Instead, every week you will be responsible for reading a chapter of The Hobbit on your own for independent study. Then, you will be required to complete a discussion log for your meeting preparation. Finally, you will setup a weekly meeting with 2 - 5 other guild mates to discuss a chapter of the book. During this meeting, you will be responsible for positively participating in the group and giving feedback on your participation and preparation of your guild mates.

Below are a few guidelines for completing each step of the literature circle process.

Step 1: Reading

Read the assigned chapter(s) for the week. While reading, use sticky notes to mark interesting parts of the chapter(s). These notes will be marked with runes. Runes were old symbols used in ancient Germanic cultures as an early form of written communication. In addition, many believe that these marks were used for magical purposes.

For your purpose, you will use simple letters as a means to help with understanding the text. You may refer to the Rune Chart below to help guide your use sticky notes in the book.

Rune Chart
L I learned something new.
S I was surprised by something.
C I was confused by something.
I I found important information.
RL I was reminded of real life.
B I was reminded of another book.
G I was reminded of the game.

Sticky notes will be provided by the Lorekeeper.

Step 2: Meeting Preparation

You will prepare for the weekly meeting by constructing a discussion log. This log will be completed as an offline activity. You may either write it by hand or type it on the laptop; however, you must bring it to your book meetings.

This discussion log will contain at a minimum: one question you had about the chapter; one quote from the chapter that you found interesting, thought provoking, or inspiring; one other point of discussion based upon your sticky notes.

Step 3: Groups

Groups will be formed at the beginning of the week, and they may be changed from week to week. You will be responsible for getting into a group of students that consists of 3 - 6 members.

Once the group has been decided upon, one member of the group will post the group discussion time for Friday on the guild calendar in-game. The rest of the group members will accept the invite to the meeting. You may not schedule a meeting for a time slot that has already been taken by another group. Meetings should be scheduled for a 30 minute block of time on the calendar.

Groups may only meet on Fridays, unless they approve it through a Lorekeeper in advance.

Step 4: Weekly Meeting

One group will meet at a time during their designated time slot. Meetings may take place three different ways: in-person in a separate section of the classroom; in the Great Hall, weekly chat room, and use a set Ventrilo channel; in-game at a designated location (note: all in-game characters must be in the same physical location within the game during the entire meeting, and you are not allowed to quest or perform other actions during the meeting).

During this meeting, a Lorekeeper will be with the group and observe their discussion. They are neither leading the discussion, nor are they there to persuade the group conversation. Instead, their role is to help answer questions that students may have and guide them.

Discussion Elements:

Active Listening: eyes on speaker; sit-up straight; face speaker; stay focused on discussion.

Active Participation: hands to yourself and empty; talk one at a time; nod head in agreement/understanding; raise hand to ask for clarification if you have a question.

Disagreeing Constructively: no rude comments; smile; accept others opinions.

Supporting Opinions with Evidence: use quotes from the book; avoid saying "because" to answer a question; use logic.

Encouraging Others: ask questions; encourage others to participate.

Discussion guidelines:

1. Stay on Track
2. Be Prepared
3. Help Refresh Memories
4. Listen to Others
5. Everyone Participates
6. No one Interrupts
7. Help Others to Understand
8. No Put-downs
9. Be Open to Other's Ideas

The meeting should last between 15 and 30 minutes. Once you have finished with the mission, you must fill out a Literary Circle Evaluation form for each of your group mates. Send this form to the Lorekeeper through the instant messaging system.