Looking for fresh ideas for literature circle roles to use with your 5th graders?

We’ve put together a list of 19 literature circle roles that your fifth graders will love!

Literature Circle Roles for 5th Grade Students

1. Character Critic

Great for analyzing characters, the Character Critic’s primary duties include observing and evaluating how one or more characters change throughout a book.

Nonfiction books such as biographies and autobiographies lend themselves very well to this fifth grade literature circle role.

2. Connector

The Connector makes and records text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections that will help the group understand the story on a deeper level.

  • Text-to-Self – Parts of the text that remind the reader of himself/herself in some way
  • Text-to-Text – The book reminds the reader of another book with a similar significant “something”
  • Text-to-World – Something in the book reminds the reader of a real-world situation

3. Fact Finder

The Fact Finder records interesting facts about the book topic and shares them with the group.

Ideally, fifth graders should be able to write at least 5 facts.

4. Graphic Designer

This 5th grade literature circle role is great for differentiating and providing student choice.

The Graphic Designer has the opportunity to choose any graphic organizer that he or she wants to fill out and share with group members.

To save time, have a variety of graphic organizers already copied for your fifth graders.

5. Inference Detective

Prove it!…That’s what the Inference Detective must do.

The Inference Detective infers information from the reading based on pictures and word clues from the text in addition to the characters’ actions/words. He or she must then provide evidence from the book to support those inferences.

If the evidence is based on prior knowledge, the Inference Detective must record and explain his/her reasoning very clearly to the group.

6. Literary Luminary

The Literary Luminary examines figurative language, vivid descriptions, and interesting uses of parts of speech (such as strong verbs).

This is a great literature circle role for that fifth grader who has a way with words and who will be eager to share with the group how the author uses special language to bring the story to life.

7. Math Specialist

Integrating literacy and math is easy with this 5th grade literature circle role.

The Math Specialist has the task of using some of the characters and any relevant information from the book to create 1 or 2 math word problems.


If the literature circle group is reading a nonfiction book about reducing wastes and recycling, the Math Specialist may share a graph with the group showing how recycling has reduced wastes over a certain period of time.

8. News Reporter

Retelling the story or a significant scene/part of the story using the 5 Ws + How is the News Reporter’s main job.

Challenge your advanced 5th grade students to generate higher-leveled 5W questions.

9. Question Guru

The Question Guru creates questions that will help group members understand the text better.

The QAR or Question-Answer Relationship reading strategy facilitates fifth grade learners in categorizing questions into four groups:

  • Right There” -answers that can be found easily within the text.
  • Think and Search” – answers can be found in the text but require a bit more looking around.
  • Author and Me” – Require students to infer the answers based on clues from the text.
  • On My Own” – Answers not found in the text but based solely on the prior knowledge and experiences of the reader.

10. Quizzler

Your collection of literature circle roles for fifth graders isn’t complete with The Quizzler.

He or she creates a true/false, short multiple-choice, or fun game-type quiz or assessment for the group.

11. Reading/Writing Connector

As the Reading/Writing Connector reads, he or she takes note of any writing strategies that the author uses to make the writing more powerful and/or easily understood by the reader.

He or she then shares these writing strategies with the group, pointing them out in the book.

Group members now have a bank of strategies they can refer to during independent writing time of Writer’s Workshop.

12. Researcher

If you’ve got a 5th grader who asks a million questions and is curious about everything, then the Researcher literature circle role is for her.

The Researcher’s main job is to dig up background information about the author, book theme (s), historical references ~ anything relevant to the topic of the book.

She or he gathers information from a variety of reliable resources and shares findings with the literature circle group.

This advanced literature circle role is a perfect addition to 5th grade book clubs.

13. Sketch Artist

While reading, the Sketch Artist sketches a drawing related to a particular scene, chapter, character, or symbol that represents a common theme. He or she may add a few labels and captions if desired.

The fun part is having group members guess what part of the text the Sketch Artist chose to draw.

Afterwards, the Sketch Artist confirms the group’s predictions by explaining his sketches.

14. Summarizer (Fiction)

A classic 5th grade literature circle role, the Summarizer writes a summary that includes the most important information from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

15. Summarizer (Non-fiction)

With non-fiction texts, the fifth grade Summarizer literature circle role takes the main ideas from each part of the chapter, section, or book and writes a summary using those statements.

16. Symbolism Seeker

  • What’s the “Big Message” in the book or chapter?
  • What are the big themes or ideas?
  • Is the author trying to teach me anything?

These are questions that the Symbolism Seeker must answer in some way, shape, or form.

This 5th grade literature circle role requires a lot of deep thinking.

17. Text Feature Analyzer

An important skill in comprehending nonfiction texts is analyzing text features.

Text features include, but are not limited to bold text, italics, an index, captions, headings, labeled diagrams, and table of contents.

A Text Feature Analyzer searches for and analyzes how the author uses text features to help the reader understand the text better.

He or she then shares that information with the book club.

18. Wild Card

The “Wild Card” 5th grade literature circle role chooses to share with her group any reading comprehension activity or strategy.

19. Word Whiz

Last but not least in this list of book club roles for fifth grade is The Word Whiz.

Always on the lookout for interesting vocabulary, his/her main duty is explaining to the group how he used context clues to learn unfamiliar words.

Additionally, he identifies multiple-meaning words from the text, explaining the various definitions.

Try These Literature Circle Roles for 5th Grade Learners

Challenge your upper elementary learners to extend their comprehension skills using these 19 fun literature circle roles, perfect for 5th grade students.

Happy teaching and learning