Collaborative Activities for Talking About Text
How would you like a quick and easy way to guide your students through effective group discussions, one that keeps them focused on task? These collaboration placemats do just that!
Use these 8.5 x 14" placemats to organize student group discussions. Just print off one per group and your students will have clear instructions to guide their work together. Currently, there are placemats for discussions on characterization, thematic development and author purpose. You will find choices that can be used for any text or for a full class novel. There are also placemats that can be used to guide group discussion on any topic. (UPDATE July 2017: Placemats for discussing poetry and non-fiction)
Students will follow the numbered steps on each placemat. Each one asks them to begin with some private reflection, brainstorming or writing. Next, they will share with a partner or the whole group. After that, the instructions vary, depending on the task. Regardless, students will think, write, speak and listen as they work together to do the task. After, you can finish with a full class discussion or with a short writing assignemnt for each student. I use these as a skill building activity, rather than for assessment, but you can choose to use them as a first step for a formal assignment.
NOTE: these placemats are in colour but copy perfectly fine in grey scale.
If you want your students to take a closer look at theme and text-to-text connections, you can check out my Placemats for Discussing Universal Themes.
If you're looking for other critical thinking activities, you might like to check out:
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