Overview of Literature Discussion Groups: Grades 2-5

Literature Discussion Groups are an integral small-group instructional strategy in Grades 2-5 within our differentiated reader's workshop approach.  LDGs are designed for transitional/extending readers who are becoming self-regulated in applying comprehension strategies and strategic reading behaviors while reading independently.  Deep comprehension of text is achieved through literature discussion as students engage in purposeful talk with one another to extend their understanding and negotiate meaning of text. 

LDGs are driven by students' thinking and questions regarding the text, so the teacher's role shifts to an active participant in the discussion versus the facilitator or leader of the discussion.    


Mini-Lessons for Launching LDGs

Before launching literature discussion groups in a small-group instructional setting, students must be working toward self-regulation in the "procedural behaviors" needed to purposefully participate in deep discussion.  A series of whole-group mini-lessons are taught prior to implementing cycles of LDGs to prepare students for active engagement and participation in discussion.  The following PowerPoint provides a guide for teaching the launching mini-lessons required for facilitating successful LDGs.

          Launching Mini-Lessons for Literature Discussion Groups 

The following videos spotlight Leigh Ann Scheuerell, a Grade 2 model classroom teacher integrating the launching mini-lessons to prepare her second graders for LDGs. (coming soon)


Planning for and Selecting Texts for LDGs

Purposeful, explicit planning is key to fostering deep comprehension and discussion in LDGs.  The texts selected for LDGs must be rich in content "to give students something to talk about and reflect on" at deep levels.  The teacher must know the text inside-out to prepare students for reading the text independently and to be equipped with prompts that will set purposes for reading, deepen discussion, and facilitate meaningful entries in students' thoughtful logs.  The following resources can be used to explicitly plan and select texts for LDGs.

           Planning for Literature Discussion Groups PPT

           Literature Discussion Group Planner

           Sample Literature Discussion Group Planner: Smoky Night by Eve Bunting


Implementing LDGs

The instructional framework for implementing LDGs is outlined in an explicit, step-by-step protocol for teaching and observing LDGs.  This can also be used to help for LDGs.

           Literature Discussion Group Protocol Grades 2-5


Assessing LDGs

Formative assessment is key in fostering deep discussion and comprehension as well as driving future instruction in LDGs.  The following LDG Anecdotal Note form can be used as a tool to track formative assessment data.

            Literature Discussion Group Anecdotal Note Form