Activity aim: To review; to provide an authentic task for repetitive practice; to encourage class discussion without putting students on the spot; to help students formulate questions
Materials: It can be helpful to have a printed worksheet or slide with the options so that students can continue to refer back to it.
Time estimated: This activity can take as much time as needed. We recommend budgeting at least 10 minutes for it.
The teacher gives students ONE of the following things:
- A list with a variety of options. If the list has 10 options, the student should choose, say, 7 of the best ones.
- A list of with statements with which someone could agree or disagree. If the list has 10 options, the student should choose the 7 statements that they agree with the most.
- A list with potential test / quiz questions. If the list has 10 options, the student should choose the 7 questions that they would most like to answer.
2. Working with the person next to the student, the pair discusses why they chose the options that they did. They should then narrow the list down to 5 from 7.
3. Working with the group of two students closest to the pair, the new group of four students discuss why they chose the 5 options that they did. They should then narrow the list down from 5 to 3.
4. Working with half of the class, the students select the best option on the list. They choose one person to present the option to the other side of the class to try to convince them to choose it.
At the end of the exercise, students can complete a brief, in-class writing exercise to reflect on the exercise. Did they change their opinion? Why or why not? Were there other options that didn’t appear on the list that they would have chosen instead? Did they approve of the whole class’s final choice?
Images: JD Hancock, Flickr Creative Commons