Literary Circles

Here comes one more method for doing literature. It is great because it really makes the students examine the text to a tiniest detail. And if you use this as a form of a group work, you won’t regret it since everyone will be doing something according to their roles. No more hanging onto the strongest fellow students, even the weakest ones will be able to contribute.

So how do you start?

First you print out the roles, which you will assign to your students. Make sure that all the roles you decide to use can be played out with the text you have chosen. Then you give your students the text, tell them to work individually or in pairs and explain that each of them is given a role and has to work on literary text according to the role and the assignment he or she was given. After 10 min they have to present what their role was and what they found out.

Here are just some short descriptions of roles, but you can download the whole sheet with detailed description of roles if you click here, so feel free to use this method and have fun with your students!

TRAVEL TRACER: Find out where the things are happening in the story and how the settings may have changed. 

INVESTIGATOR (or RESEARCHER): Dig up background information on any topic related to your book: geography, weather, culture, history of the story’s settings.

CHARACTER CAPTAIN: Name and describe the characters (with additional questions).

SCRIBE: Take the notes of the discussion going on in the group.

DISCUSSION DIRECTOR: Your task is to make a list of questions your group will discuss in the class (with additional questions). 

ILLUSTRATOR (or ARTFUL ARTIST): Draw a scene from the story, or a sketch, diagram, flow chart, characters from the story or similar.

CONNECTOR: Connect the story with the world outside. 

SUMMARISER: Find the key words in the story and write a short summary of the story. 

VOCABULARY ENRICHER (or WORD MASTER): Find at least about 10-15 new words that you find necessary for the better understanding of the story. Write the definition from the dictionary and the translation if necessary. (with additional questions)

What's the most common method you use for working on a literary text in class?


  1. we did this one at high school - it really makes students roll up their sleeves :)

    1. yeah, I think this one is amazing for group work since everyone will be doing something :)

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