I have been using Literature Circles or Book Clubs for many years. When we reviewed our Language Arts Curriculum two years ago, we built in Literature Circles. We have more than thirty different set of classroom novels. Over the years, I have used bonus points, grants, and swaps to add another thirty sets of small group novels. I have two reading groups with readers from second to high school reading levels. Some of the time, we do read a novel as a whole class and grade level. Other times, students choose the novel they want to read.
Jen Runde. They also use a set of depth of knowledge question stems.
My other reading class has five different circles going. Three of the groups are using my role sheets. The other two groups are using my reading response sheets. They didn't want to make their own questions, so they are using my More Reading Response Sheets for Any Novel.
I like to use literature circles because it allows students to read the whole story. Our anthology only has a chapter or two of any story. It acts as a transition to reading literature in middle school, where students have less guidance. It gives me freedom to meet with small groups of students. It allows students to group themselves by reading levels or interests. When the weather starts to warm, as it has been the last week, it lets me send groups to the hall or courtyard. (When it is warm, we do better when we can spread out).