Interactive Pedagogies for Classroom Discussion

Here are a few suggestions for techniques that could be used to facilitate text analysis and discussion when looking at the texts in this unit with your students. These can be used during the traditional one-on-one learning in “chavruta”, or in small groups, or in whole class mode:

  • 3-2-1 – Gauge students’ understanding and interest in a topic by asking them to write down takeaways, questions, and something they enjoyed about a text
  • Annotating and Paraphrasing Sources – Teach students to carefully read material by having them underline key words, write margin notes, and summarize main ideas.
  • Chunking – Help students approach challenging texts by breaking down content into manageable pieces.
  • Close Reading Protocol – Ensure students’ reading comprehension by emphasizing a purposeful reading and rereading of a text.
  • Rapid-Fire Writing – Help students unpack their responses to a text or video using this structured protocol that requires alternating between thinking and writing.
  • Read Aloud – Encourage class participation and develop students’ active listening skills by reading aloud text excerpts.
  • Café Conversations – Students practice perspective-taking by representing the point of view of an assigned personality in a small-group discussion.
  • Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn – Structure a discussion that uses journaling and group work to strengthen students’ listening skills.
  • People’s Assembly – Help students communicate independently and develop as active listeners by giving them the opportunity to discuss and share ideas in the format of a people’s assembly.
  • Save the Last Word for Me – This discussion strategy helps students practice being both active speakers and active listeners in a group conversation.
  • Socratic Seminar – Have students facilitate a discussion in order to work together toward a shared understanding of a text.
  • Town Hall Circle – Students mimic a town hall meeting as they share their perspectives on a topic.