We decided to use picture books as the genre for our first literature circle book for a year 7 class.
We used picture books to encourage the students to look beyond what was written in their text. They were encouraged to think critically about all the graphic components and reflect on how they add to the text. The tasks were also developed to encourage the boys to develop their inference skills and respond to the works they were reading on a level that they had not been required to do with their earlier texts.
The boys read the picture books and were given a number of short tasks to complete; some on an individual basis but then sharing their thoughts with the rest of their group. All these shart tasks were then be used to create the basis of the glogs for each group.

The short tasks the students worked on were:

Analysis of the cover

Comment on the picture on the cover – what it tells the reader about the book; the colours used; the style and colour of the lettering used; what questions the cover raises in the mind of the reader; what other information is given on the cover

Scanning skills

Spend 5 minutes browsing through the book and then spend 5 minutes writing what you think the book will be about based on what you see and read.

The introduction

In 50 words outline how the author introduces the book and catches the attention of the reader.

Sharing ideas with the group

Come to an agreement about what works best on the cover. (and anything you don’t think works). As a group create an alternative cover and “Blurb” for your book

Summarising Skills

Make a 100 word summary of the pages which you read for today in your own words. Remember that a summary needs to include the main ideas/information of the text in a logical order. Share your ideas with your group. Do they agree or do they have alternative points?

Creating Questions

Write 5 questions which could be used to test the reader’s comprehension of the text which you read for today. Remember that questions need to include the main information in the text and they need to test whether the reader has understood the text. All questions need to be open-ended to allow for discussion. Share these questions with your group and take note of their answers.

Illustrating skills

Draw a picture which illustrates the section of the book which you read for today. The drawing must show what is in the text and how well you have understood the meaning of the text.

Character description

Pick a character from your book and write either a “missing person” or “wanted” poster for this person. Include in your poster information that you have discovered from the book.

Rubric for the Picture Book Glogster component

Task

Excellent

Very Good

Good

Satisfactory

Borderline

Not Satisfactory

Understanding of the picture book
Demonstrates an excellent understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Demonstrates a very good understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Demonstrates a good understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Demonstrates a basic understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Demonstrates some understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Demonstrates a limited understanding of the book and it’s themes, including the book’s graphical information.
Required elements. Inclusion of compulsory components i.e. Alternative cover, blurb, review, video clip
Glogster had all compulsory components and many extra excellent components
Glogster had all compulsory components and many extra components
Glogster had all compulsory components and some extra components
Glogster had all compulsory components
Glogster had few components
Glogster was not submitted
Overall appearance, creativity and balance. This includes design, layout, font, colour, images size of components, multimedia elements
The glogster is very well-designed and laid out. All elements complement each other and are visually appealing.
The glogster is well-designed and laid out. Most elements complement each other and are visually appealing.
The glogster is fairly well-designed and laid out. Most elements complement each other and are visually appealing.
The glogster shows that some thought has been given to design and layout. Some elements are visually appealing but others are not.
The glogster shows limited evidence of planning of the design and layout. Some elements are visually appealing but others are not.
The glogster is unappealing, hard to read, and/or visually distracting
Graphics (Relevance)
All graphics are related to the book. They enhance the text and greatly increase the understanding of the book’s content. They make the Glog much easier to understand and read.
All graphics are related to the book. They enhance the text and increase the understanding of the book’s content. They make the Glog easier to understand and read.
Most graphics are related to the book. They enhance the text and increase the understanding of the book’s content. They make the Glog easier to understand and read.
Some graphics are related to the book. They attempt to relate to the text and increase the understanding of the book’s content.
Few graphics are related to the book. They lack relevance to the text. They do not increase the understanding of the book’s content.
No graphics are related to the book. They enhance the text and increase the understanding of the book’s content. They make the Glog easier to understand and read.
Digital citizenship
Acknowledges ownership of all media used in the most appropriate manner
Acknowledges ownership of all media used and in the appropriate manner
Acknowledges ownership of all media used and mostly in the appropriate manner
Acknowledges ownership of most media used in the appropriate manner
Acknowledges ownership of some of the media used in the appropriate manner
No acknowledgement of the ownership of any of the media used
Mechanics of English – spelling and grammar
Excellent mechanics
Very good mechanics
Good mechanics
Satisfactory mechanics
Mechanics need to be improved
Not satisfactory mechanics
Working in groups
Worked very enthusiastically with group – consistently demonstrating leadership and collaborative skills
Worked very enthusiastically with group – leading discussions and contributing regularly
Worked enthusiastically with group – contributing regularly
Worked cooperatively with group
Contributed little to group activities
Did not work with the group