SOS: Gone Fishin’

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Gone Fishn’

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SOS Big IdeaThe Gone Fishin’ strategy is a way to showcase model behaviors in any subject with any grade level. This strategy works particularly well with a subject matter that lends itself to different perspectives or sides of an argument. When students use this strategy, they learn how to present their feelings and opinions in a respectful matter, while simultaneously providing evidence of their thinking.


SOS StepsMaterials: media from Discovery Education, group T-chart, paper, writing utensils

  1. Choose a Discovery Education video segment or reading passage that is related to your unit of study. (This strategy works best if the unit of study has topics with multiple perspectives, so ELA and Social Studies topics typically present good opportunities for this.)
  2. Show the video segment or read the passage.
  3. Analyze the content to determine two or more different perspectives that the
    class will discuss. This could be done by the teacher or by the students.
  4. Create a group T-chart to record observations about the opposing perspectives,and have students prepare similar individual T-charts on paper or in an interactive notebook.
  5. Have students bring their notebooks and sit in a circle; seat four or ?ve students in the middle (the “?sh bowl”) and the rest around the outside.
  6. Using pre-determined discussion starters or questions, have the students in the middle discuss the topic. Ask the students outside the circle to write down
    everything that is discussed. The only talking happening should be coming from the students in the middle.
  7. After a few minutes, have the students in the middle switch to the outside and move four or ?ve different students to the inner circle. Continue until everyone has had a chance to speak in the ?sh bowl.
  8. Once everyone has had a turn in the ?sh bowl, debrief as a class or in small groups.

SOS Sum It Up

Use the Gone Fishn’ strategy to model appropriate classroom discussion behavior as well to create a safe environment for students to express different perspectives on various topics. When students provide evidence to back up their thinking, they gain more insight and knowledge on content.


SOS More Ideas

  • Have students create a Board Builder project showing all sides of an argument and the reasons for them.
  • Use electronic devices to run a back channel conversation about discussions that are happening inside the ?sh bowl. This can help students process information they are hearing or could be transferred to a collaborative document for use at a later time.



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