Discussions are a fantastic teaching tool to engage all students, through connecting the subject material with the students’ own thoughts and experiences. This means that their learning is memorable.
- Conventional Discussion with a Twist. Students present their perspectives either verbally, written or physically in a discussion line then the teachers role (or a very confident or high achieving student) plays Devil’s Advocate. The students know what to expect (so the points are taken seriously but not offensively) and the students must justify their views in light of the further ‘controversial’ points raised. Review: very good for challenging high ability or verbal students.
2. Don’t Tell me Show me. A more physical discussion can be created with a Discussion Line. Because this activity promotes movement students have to make a decision on their perspective without relying upon others views (also quiet students contribute as well). Review: good for motivating students to pick a perspective, all students involved including quieter members of the class.
3. Discussions Under Construction. The final type of discussion develops the student’s essay writing technique by layering arguments using building blocks. The use of colours can distinguish between different types of argument and each student in small groups has a coloured block so must contribute. Review: Challenges students to build upon previously given perspectives, promotes group work and all students must contribute as each student is given a coloured block.
For further ideas and support I have written number of posts relating to this subject area that can be found under Dialogic Learning.
To view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This digital goods store will allow you to quickly and safely download all materials (for a small charge). These include PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.