Critical Encounters: Negotiating Textual Connections in a Student-led Discussion of The Circuit

Christina P. DeNicolo, Carol Brochin


This article presents an analysis of two fourth-grade students discussing The Circuit (Jiménez, 1997) and finding ways to express their understandings and misunderstandings with a critical encounter in the text. The students’ use of freestyling enabled them to recontextualize (Dyson, 2001, 2003; Gilmore, 1983) the literature discussion. This recontextualization provided the students with a way to remain engaged in the discussion and with each other when tension arose from having different interpretations. The student selected format and use of quality Latinx children’s literature, enabled the students to draw on multiple literacies.

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