Shakespeare in Circles

Lesson by Mary Ellen Dakin

Introduction
In the wake of the nineteenth century factory model of education, the twenty-first century classroom calls for greater student ownership of the questions, the conversations, and the ideas. Since the publication of Harvey Daniels’ Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups in 1994, the concept of student-centered reading and discussion groups has contributed to a sea change in American classrooms. No single author in the English literary canon is better equipped to spark student voice and choice than William Shakespeare, and the literature circle model provides a working stage for authentic and accountable student talk.

Click here for Shakespeare Literature Circle role sheets that include additions and revisions colleagues and I have made to them since the publication of Reading Shakespeare with Young Adults in 2009. Because twenty-first century students often arrive at the Circles with mobile electronic devices in place of paper books, we have begun the process of adding Technology Extensions to the role sheets and will update periodically.


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