As a science teacher, I regularly use outside reading assignments (e.g., news articles) to help develop my students’ understanding of topics addressed in my anatomy class. However, I have found that in simply reading texts, students often fail to (1) understand the context of the science discussed, (2) make the connections between ideas represented in the reading and those presented in class, and (3) appreciate the science that is being discussed. To better support my students’ reading, I needed to structure their reading to direct them toward key ideas and prompt them to process the information deeply, to make connections between their readings and the concepts learned in class, and to understand the science content in context. To address these needs, and to help increase my students’ science comprehension and encourage their thinking while reading, I turned to a language arts strategy called Literature Circles. Here, I describe my use of this successful strategy and provide resources to support other teachers who want to employ outside readings and/or Literature Circles in their own teaching.

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