Fifty research-based literacy strategies designed for busy K-8 classroom teachersOrganized around 10 key areas for teaching and learning literacy—phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, story comprehension, comprehension of informational text, questioning for understanding, discussion for understanding, narrative writing, and writing to learn-Promoting Literacy Development offers 50 clearly written, step-by-step strategies for developing proficient readers and writers. The authors also include suggestions for differentiating instruction for English language learners and for students with special needs.
Strategy 27: Discussion Circles
Speaking Briefly: An Overview of the Literacy Strategy
Discussion Circles use oral language and collaborative inquiry to facilitate “deep processing” of expository text (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002). Recent research has determined that oral language is a powerful vehicle for engaging students in academic discourse that immerses them in informational text (Zehr, 2009). At-risk students and English language learners have smaller vocabularies and less background knowledge relevant to informational text (August, Francis, Hsu, & Snow, 2006). In addition, elementary school students have limited exposure to expository text and grapple with the genre (Moss, 2004). When all students collaborate on retellings of informational text and discuss its framework, they are gradually introduced to its demanding text structure (Moss, 2004).
Elementary school teachers are often reluctant ...