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Lesson Plan

Girls Read: Online Literature Circles

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Girls Read: Online Literature Circles

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Six 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Helen Hoffner, Ed.D.

Helen Hoffner, Ed.D.

Ridley Park, Pennsylvania


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



In generations past, women met in quilting circles to share their dreams; today's girls share their thoughts in virtual communities. Multicultural literature with strong female protagonists serves as the focus for e-mail exchanges and classroom discussions in this lesson. Students select and read one of five novels presented by the teacher, and they discuss the novel in exchanges with e-mail pen pals and in classroom literature circles. Students then participate in an online literacy community where they can respond to questions and post reviews, allowing them to expand their perspectives and converse with a wider audience. Note: This lesson can be paired with the ReadWriteThink.org companion lesson "Boys Read: Considering Courage in Novels."

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DeBlase, G. (2003). Acknowledging agency while accommodating romance: Girls negotiating meaning in literacy transactions. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(8), 624635.

  • Teachers can motivate girls to overcome stereotypical gender and cultural biases by providing opportunities to read and discuss multicultural literature with strong female protagonists.

  • Literature study circles confirm that reading is a social activity. In literature study circles, students expand their perspectives through conversation and debate.

  • Readers bring their social and cultural background to a text. When students discuss and reflect upon the actions of literary characters, they learn about themselves.

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