I have an idea for a bigger "science lit circles" project for next year... One of my dears lent me The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and I just *have* to share it with more kids. So I've got an idea of picking a whole bunch of science non-fiction and letting kids choose books in groups of three or four to read, discuss, and ultimately share with the other groups. Of course, I've already found a TON of options, both books I've already read and books I'll need to read this summer to evaluate. (See below for my working list)
But - while I'm a pretty kick-ass science teacher and can put together awesome projects investigating science phenomena - my non-fiction reading skills development and literature analysis pedagogy is pretty close to non-existent. I read Nancie Atwell's In The Middle back when I first started teaching, and have run a few readers' workshops... poorly.
So... what resources are the best for setting up lit circles, especially with *non-fiction*? What are the best new graphic organizers, journaling techniques, asynchronous conversation formats for lit circles? I'd love to catch up a little on the latest and greatest progress in readers' workshop, non-fiction reading skills development, and lit circles and book groups!
Science Lit Circles Options: Working List
(I teach a "gifted" population, so many of these are quite above-grade-level books. But I DO have below-grade-level readers, and just 'cause some test as "past high school" doesn't mean they'll be able to fluently interpret all the concepts in these books... So I need to figure out how to guide them as they read!)
Books I've read, loved, would totally include:
- Stiff, by Mary Roach
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
- Collapse, by Jared Diamond
- The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
- Mutants, by Armand Marie Leroi
- Where The Wild Things Were, by William Stolzenburg
Books I need to read (or re-read) to evaluate for middle schoolers:
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman
- Crazy, by Pete Earley
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, by Oliver Sacks
- Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World, by Nick Lane
- The Panda's Thumb, by Steven J Gould
- My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs, by Brian Switek
- Brain Rules, by John Medina
- What's Going On In There, by Lise Eliot
Any other book suggestions?