A Menu of Methods
These are methods and strategies that I observed from multiple teachers during my time at HMI that I would like to remember for future lesson planning.
Fishbowl Variation 1
Half of the class sits in the middle of the room and the other half on the outside. Students tap out each other when they want to enter the discussion in the middle.
Fishbowl Variation 2
Each outside circle member is assigned an inside circle member to peer evaluate during the discussion, then the entire group switches and the evaluators become the discussers and vice-versa.
Use dice (2-4 depending on class size) to randomize who is called on during class.
Write questions, statements, or other prompts on a few spaces around the classroom. Students then have a silent discussion as they walk around the room, adding their thoughts, and responding to their peers.
Quaker Meeting Style
Students participate in discussion only using quotes from the text.
City Council Meeting (aka: Role Playing)
Students take on new personalities in order to offer new perspectives and interpretations of a reading or a series of readings. See Gender in the West Lesson.
Students mingle at various prompts around the classroom in a mini-discussion. Some cafés may have a host that stays at that prompt, sharing what past visitors say, others times the entire class may rearrange every few minutes.
Tips & Tricks
Rewrite a pop song in the passive voice and have students decode it back to active voice
Use Google Spreadsheets to create shared documents where students can crowd-source data from their readings