Literary Projects and Life Skills:
Eighth Graders at Saints Cyril and Methodius School in Deer Park have ample opportunity to flex their creative muscles while developing team-building skills and learning to work cooperatively within a group. Mrs. Judy Keeler, veteran SSCM Middle School teacher uses a student-centered reading strategy called Literature Circles. Student teams work together to select a book that they will read and then each student takes on a specific role in the “Lit Circle”, allowing the group to work together to analyze the story line and present their take on the piece of literature they’ve read.
Mrs. Keeler introduces the concept to the students as 7th graders and as they become more experienced in this highly interactive and collaborative method of bringing literature to life, the students’ presentations surely gain momentum. Their sometimes heated debates and active involvement in showcasing the story line for their fellow students are clear evidence of how engaged these young adults are in the reading process, something often lacking in Middle School students today.
SSCM’s Lit Circles allow young minds to think analytically about the works they are reading. Further, for these students preparing to make their way to high school within the coming year, the process also allows them to take responsibility for their own learning and take ownership of the outcomes of their study habits and collaborative work — life skills they will take with them for the long haul.