Lit Circle Notes: Overview of the Roles

Discussion Director:

Your role demands that you identify the important aspects of your assigned text, and develop questions your group will want to discuss. Focus on the major themes or “big ideas” in the text and your reaction to those ideas. What interests you will most likely interest those in your group. You are also responsible for facilitating your group’s discussion.

Discussion Director Example

Discussion Director Sample Questions:


What one question would you ask the writer if you got the chance? Why?  Make sure you reference the text and put it in context.

What are the most important ideas/moments in this text/section?  Why?

What was the most important change in this section? Why is it important? How and why did it happen?

Remember: Feel free to create your own, higher level, questions.


You find passages your group would like to/should hear read aloud. These passages should be memorable, interesting, puzzling, funny, or important. You can either read the passage aloud yourself or ask members of your group to read roles.

Illuminator Example

Illuminator Sample Questions:

Why is this passage, quote, etc. so important that it should be illuminated within your group?

Why is this passage important to the text?


Your role is to draw what you read. This might mean drawing a scene as a cartoon-like sequence, or an important scene so readers can better understand the action. You can draw maps or organizational trees to show how one person, place, or event relates to the others. Label your drawings so we know who the characters are. Make your drawing on a separate sheet of paper.

Illustrator Example 

Illustrator Sample Questions:

Why did you choose this scene to illustrate?

What makes this scene important to the text?  


What are you trying to accomplish through this drawing? Be specific with your response.


Your job is to connect what you are reading with what you are studying or with the world outside of school. You can connect the story to events in you own life, news events, political events, or popular trends. Another important source of connections is books you’ve already read. The connections should be meaningful to you and those in your group.

Connector Example

Connector Sample Questions:

What other places or people could you compare the section you read to?  

What other characters or authors might you compare to this one?  

What is the most interesting or important connection that comes to mind?  

How does this section relate to those that came before it?

Word Watcher: While reading the assigned section, you watch out for words worth knowing. These words might be interesting, new, important, or used in unusual ways. It is important to indicate the specific location of the words so the group can discuss these words in context.

Word Watcher Example

Word Watcher Sample Questions:

Which words are used frequently?  

Which words are used in unusual ways?  

What words seem to have special meaning to the characters or author?  

What new words do you find in this section?  

What is the connotative meaning of this word?  

What is the denotative meaning of this word?

Summarizer: Prepare a brief summary of the day’s reading. Use the questions to the right to help you decide what to include. In some cases, you might ask yourself what details, characters, or events are so important that they would be included on an exam. If it helps you to organize the information, consider making a numbered list or a timeline.

Summarizer Sample Questions:

What are the most important events in the section you read?  What makes them so important?  What effect to these events have on the plot or the other characters?  

What changes---in plot, character, or tone---did you notice when you read?