Literature Circles have long been a favorite instructional strategy, particularly in middle grade classrooms.
If you have never used the Lit Circle strategy before, you can read more about it at Read Write Think. And at Instructional Strategies Online, you'll find a treasure trove of helpful materials for starting your own.
But why not kick an already familiar idea up a notch? You can use a Wiki or Blog application to start your online circle. Better yet, check out a terrific document from Terry Taylor who reports on her experience with Lit Circles: Online Literature Circles: an Engaging Way to Learn
At NECC 2008 in San Antonio, we met students in grades 4-5 who were participating in an online Lit Circle set up by the San Antonio ISD. The students absolutely glowed as they talked about their online Lit Circle experience! In fact, they could hardly wait to read their next book so that they could participate in its Lit Circle. Talk about enthusiasm for reading!