Each time we conduct literature circles, you will be divided up into groups of four (in some cases, five). Each group has four roles: the Director, the Passagist, the Connector, and the Researcher. Your role will shift over the course of the semester so that you have the opportunity to play each role.
ROLE ONE: The Director has the responsibility of getting the group to remember specific details about the text: who, what, where, when, why, and how. The director poses questions that help the rest of the team remember these details.
If you are the Director, compose questions about details in the book and then answer them by showing why it's important to remember this particular detail. You should ask at least 5 questions about specific details. Questions should be answerable by referring to a particular page or set of pages in the text. They should not be hypothetical (that's the connector's job). After you pose each question, I expect at least a 3-sentence paragraph explaining WHY it's important. Identify a theme or set of themes in the book.
After your questions, in a paragraph summarize why knowing these particular details helps to understand the theme of the book as you understand it.
ROLE TWO: The Passagist has the responsibility of getting the group to look at specific passages in the work that either 1) foreshadow something, 2) reveal something about the characters or situations, 3) are beautifully written or difficult to understand.
If you are the Passagist, you should identify passages by page number and paragraph or line number (in the margins of your text) and explain what is significant about them. You should identify a minimum of 5 passages for discussion. Your explanation of why these passages are significant should be at least 4 sentences long for each passage. Identify a theme or set of themes in the book.
After your passages, in a paragraph summarize why studying these particular passages helps to understand the theme of the book as you understand it.
If you are the Connector, you should make at least 4 connections between the work and other things, such as (and not limited to) other readings, a movie or TV show, something in the current news, or something in your life. You should explain each connection with a paragraph of at least 4 sentences. Identify a theme or set of themes in the book. Draw a Venn Diagram of one of the connections: show visually how each text is similar and different.
After your connections, in a paragraph summarize why making these particular connections helps to understand the theme of the book as you understand it.
ROLE FOUR: The Researcher looks up unusual vocabulary, author information, and contextual (historical or cultural) information that help people understand the work better. I recommend that you use the online resources suggested on my Guide to Research <http://www.ksu.edu/english/naomiw/classes/research.html>. You must use at least one text or online resource from Hale Library.
If you are the Researcher, you should be able to define every word used in the particular story or poem being discussed. Look up references to songs, history, and allusions to works of literature whenever possible. When possible, you should locate material about this particular author or historical context. Most importantly, you are responsible for processing that information--showing its connections with the work. If you have printouts of information from the internet, for example, you still need to write a paragraph explaining how this information helps us understand the work. It is very important to have a sense of a word's multiple possible meanings, especially when discussing poetry. Consider the implications of the names the author has chosen to give to characters.
After sharing your research, in a separate paragraph identify a theme or set of themes in the book and summarize why having the background helps to understand the theme of the book as you understand it. Include a "Works Cited" in MLA format.