How to Plan a Classroom Discussion: Activities tried and tested

These activities are designed to encourage all students to participate, challenge their viewpoints and stretch their understanding:

  • Formal debate: (two side, four side, court case) P7071247.JPGCourt Cases can be memorable, challenging and engaging for all. Each student has their own role:judge, jury members who scribe the debate,  defence lawyers, prosecutors, criminals. Each student/ team are allocated time to prepare their points, each team then presents their points with an opportunity for opposing teams to question and raise issues. The judge decides the fate.
  • Movie make/ pictures/ film clip: students write down everything they can remember, all students contributes one point

  • Post it note: agree/ disagree “Violence must be met by non voilence” Martin Luther King – share and stick on board
  • Washing line discussion or discussion line: Very good for quieter students. Each student writes their view on a post it note and sticks it on a spectrum (created by a piece of string etc) depending on the extremity of their view. Discussion line is a physical representation of views created by students standing in a line depending on the extremity of their view.
  • Silent debate: set an essay style question (or several) one student writes answer, next student must respond or support but not speak.
  • Non bias debate: students make personal views known then they must argue/ defend/ debate the other view instead (very good for higher ability students/ or for very talkative, active discussers)

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