How do you get students to discuss books?

Encouraging students to freely discuss books they read in and outside of class is a goal that most teachers have. It is in these discussions that occur naturally that students gain the most out of reading.  When students engage in authentic discussions, this act may propel them to continue reading, and possibly take a book recommendation from a peer or teacher.

Some teachers choose to use Literature Circles and use the roles for getting the talking started. Some express that using roles for students can be limiting, and that once a student satisfies the requirements of the role they check out of the discussion.  I think for some students using the roles of Literature Circles is a good start or differentiation for students who may not know how to start discussing books with peers. Using roles is also a way for a teacher to strategically get a student to practice a skill that is a need.

I think that giving students a space to talk about books either by using roles from Literature Circles, or providing some discussion stem questions to ignite the conversation is time well spent in class.