SOS: Paper Chat

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Paper Chat
PDF Version

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 4.03.28 AM

Background

The Paper Chat teaching strategy is a cooperative teaching and learning strategy that empowers students to take part in group activities. It is a helpful strategy to use when there are broad essential questions that engender deep discussion and you want everyone in the room to be involved without judgment. The Paper Chat strategy helps students develop critical thinking and communication skills, in addition to developing patience and respect.

 

Example

  • Spread butcher paper across a large table or a number of desks pushed together. Place a pile of markers on or near the butcher paper — enough so that every student has one.
  • Compose a thoughtful question that will require deep conversation (i.e. not a “yes” or “no” question and not a question based in fact): “How is MLK Jr’s speech, I Have a Dream, still relevant today?”
  • Have students watch the video segment about Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “I Have a Dream”
  • Ask the students to discuss this question in silence, using only their markers.
  • Explain to students that they can circle or underline or otherwise mark their own or others’ comments. They can also draw lines between or to comments to draw attention to a conversation. The only rules are that they need to keep thinking and contributing… and they need to stay silent.
  • Give students 10 minutes to have the silent conversation.
  • Facilitate a group discussion about the content: What new ideas did they consider? What do they think their answer is to the original question (“How is MLK Jr’s speech, I Have a Dream, still relevant today?”) and why?
  • Facilitate a debriefing discussion about the process of silent conversation: Was it frustrating? Was it fun? Was it easier or harder to make and understand points? Any other insights?

Challenge

  • Select a topic that matches your curriculum.
  • Find an audio file, video segment, reading passage or image for students to examine.
  • Spread butcher paper across a large table or a number of desks pushed together. Place a pile of markers on or near the butcher paper — enough so that every student has one.
  • Compose a thoughtful question that will require deep conversation
  • Share the video, audio, image or reading passage with the students.
  • Ask the students to discuss this question in silence, using only markers.
  • Explain to students that they can circle or underline or otherwise mark their own or others’ comments. They can also draw lines between or to comments to draw attention to a conversation. The only rules are that they need to keep thinking and contributing… and they need to stay silent.
  • Give students 10 minutes to have the silent conversation.
  • Facilitate a group discussion about the content: What new ideas did they consider? What do they think their answer is to the original question and why?
  • Facilitate a debriefing discussion about the process of silent conversation: Was it frustrating? Was it fun? Was it easier or harder to make and understand points? Any other insights?

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.

 

Comments

  1. Jeff Pang

    I love this Idea. I am going to use it in my kindergarten class, having the students represent numbers in different ways on the butcher paper. I will let you know how it turns out.

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