What impact does literature circles have on struggling readers' comprehension?

The purpose of this study was to investigate what impact literature circles had on struggling readers' comprehension. Three struggling readers from a second grade classroom participated in this study for a total of six weeks. Each struggling reader was partnered with a strong reader throughout the study. Data was collected from a number of sources to analyze if comprehension was improving. First, discussion sheets were analyzed for comprehension. Next, dialogue during discussions was observed for use of comprehension strategies. Then, answers to end ofthe book questions were reviewed for understanding. And lastly, DRA scores were examined for any improvement in reading level and comprehension scores. Based on all the data collected the participants comprehension improved in a number of ways. The discussion sheets provided a model of how to use each reading strategy while reading. The dialogue between participants and their group members aided in solidifying the understanding of the text. And the peer interaction supported each reader in terms of modeling what good readers do and providing guidance when needed. These struggling readers provided information that is important to teachers and researchers alike. Literature circles is a great way to teach struggling readers how to comprehend and enjoy text that is above their reading level. Keywords: literature circles, struggling readers, reading comprehension, reading strategies, action research