Students Have Their Say

I am always looking for different creative activities that act as a hook for a new novel or text.

I decided to try Dave Stuart Jr’s Pop Up Debate – a form of discussion where each student gets at least one chance to make a claim and support it.

They responded to an essential question about the role of technology in their lives.  (We are going to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury).  Since this was the first time my ELLs were doing the activity, they had time to think about their answers through todaysmeet – a very user friendly back channeling tool.  The students have used this often in class and are familiar with commenting protocols etc.

We then moved on to the Pop Up Debate.  Stuart gives excellent directions and I created a document with his guidelines.  Students don’t know how to contribute to a formal, academic discussion, so Stuart suggests giving the students certain prompts from  They Say/I Say.  The ‘debate’ is conducted cordially with the students monitoring who speaks when.  Essentially only the student standing may speak.

They really enjoyed the activity and gave positive feedback.  The ELLs felt the formal debate gave them practice  articulating  their ideas in English.  They explained that it was interesting listening to other people’s point of view.  In fact, they wanted the opportunity to stand up and talk more than twice.


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