You will plan and co-lead at least one Friday discussion. See the calendar for your assigned day and put it on your agenda.

If you are co-leading a student-run discussion, you may arrange a meeting with me by Thursday prior to your class meeting to talk about your aims and strategies (this meeting is optional). You should complete the assigned readings and read the Conversation Posts & comments prior to our meeting. Use the Conversation Posts and comments to generate ideas for your class session, but do not feel bound to or limited by these posts.

Ideas for Discussion Leading

  • think of creative ways to use Studio D, both for small group and full class activities;
  • create a post category, and ask people to post responses to a particular prompt, in order to get them “talking” about the readings before they come to class;
  • go around the room and ask for responses to a question, passage, or excerpt from a critical text;
  • ask one person a question, then ask the next to respond to the answer, and so on, in a chain;
  • bring in article abstracts or brief biographies NOT included in reading and have class apply them to the assigned readings;
  • bring in a primary source, such as a poem, story, newspaper article, law, map, or advertisement from the period, and use it to tie the readings to the historical context;
  • give a question or quotation and ask students to respond in writing, then mix it up: have each student read someone else’s response aloud and respond verbally to it;
  • set up a debate, giving each team 10-15 minutes to prepare;
  • role play as two real critics who disagree; try to convince classmates to join your “camp”;
  • divide the class into small groups or pairs, giving each a specific topic, then coming together to share insights;
  • develop a list of terms and ask students to choose one and show how it applies to the readings;
  • play Jeopardy (or some other game) to make sure people understand basic concepts before getting into discussion;
  • set up “sides,” asking students to take one of two opposed positions on an issue;
  • use “degree of agree”: left wall = completely agree with a statement, right = completely disagree; ask people to position themselves, then talk about where they stood and why;
  • do a “think, pair, share” exercise, in which students write down a few ideas, form pairs to discuss them, and then share their findings with the rest of the class.
  • show an illustration, a painting, or a video;
  • use the on-line magazine resources to test, refine, or challenge the arguments in the assigned readings.

Don’t limit yourselves to these ideas. Be creative! All of these ideas were developed for a regular old classroom. Who knows what we can do in Studio D!