Friday, May 1, 2015

Middle School Mystery Literature Circles

Our sixth grade team is ending this year with an amazing assortment of literature circle books that will surely keep students engaged until the school year ends.  Students just finished the universal text, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, which is absolutely fabulous!  We practice the same skills through literature circle books that students choose from of the same genre with varying lexile ranges to accommodate instructional reading levels.  Below are nine selections that students will choose from.

Lexile levels are listed below. We are using these books for sixth grade, but their appeal ranges from grades 5-8.

Holes:  660
One Came Home:  690 (Historical fiction as well)
Down the Rabbit Hole:  680 (Lower lexile, but longer book)
So Yesterday:  770
Kiki Strike:  890 (Higher lexile and longer  book)
Chasing Vermeer: 770 
When You Reach Me:  750
Hoot:  760
Three Times Lucky:  560 (Lower lexile, but longer book)

Because we want  students to spend most of their time reading and focusing on main ideas, we made these cute detective notebooks where students will record their ideas to share during discussion time.
Focus areas include:
  1. Identify the mystery with page numbers.
  2. Identify the motive(s) for this crime.
  3. Investigate the characters and determine if each character is a sleuth, victim, witness or other.
  4. Record clues, evidence and red herrings.
  5. Write a book recommendation or not... explain. 
These notebooks truly could be used in your universal instruction with a "whole group" book OR through literature circles with differentiated titles.  

Happy Reading!


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