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Written Conversation / Silent Discussion

Life Skills:

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Character

Curriculum Tie:

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 45 minutes.

Group Size:
Small Groups


 

Summary:
Silent Discussion takes the strengths of a well-managed verbal classroom discussion and moves into a written discussion. Some of the benefits of this move include:

  • all students participate
  • students practice writing in a low-stakes, social format
  • students engage with content skills and knowledge

Main Curriculum Tie:
English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Writing Standard 2 a.

Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Materials:
Paper
Writing utensil

Background For Teachers:
Silent Discussion takes the strengths of a well-managed verbal classroom discussion and moves into a written discussion. Some of the benefits of this move include:

  • all students participate
  • students practice writing in a low-stakes, social format
  • students engage with content skills and knowledge

Attachments

Web Sites

Student Prior Knowledge:
The ability to read and write

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will gain a better understanding of the text by identifying key details and main ideas. Students will be able to recognize and respond to diverse perspectives.

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Generate four discussion questions.
  2. Group students into fours. Each student in the group receives a different question.
  3. Give students 3-5 minutes to respond to the prompt on a piece of paper.
  4. Students pass their responses clockwise.
  5. Students again have 3-5 minutes to respond to either the question or their partner’s response.
  6. Continue to pass and respond until the first student receives the original question. have students summarize (either in writing or verbally) the discussion.
Silent Discussion Question Examples General:
  • List some questions you have after reading.
  • What are the most import ideas to remember from the reading? Why?
  • What was the hardest part for you to understand? What did you do to help yourself?

Strategies For Diverse Learners:

  • Have students generate discussion questions (advanced)
  • Allow students to generate discussion without prompts—i.e. begin with a blank sheet of paper (even more advanced)

Extensions:
Silent Discussion can be used in any content area, and is imminently flexible. It can be used to discuss/process/reflect on:

  • Reading
  • Video/Film
  • Lab experiences
  • Concert performances
  • Field trips
  • Athletic performances/Games
Silent discussion can be used to prepare students for a traditional verbal discussion or to wrap up a verbal discussion.

Bibliography:
Wilhelm, Jeffrey. 2001. Improving Comprehension with Think-Aloud Strategies. New York: Scholastic.

Author:
KIM RATHKE

Created Date :
May 22 2013 10:31 AM

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