GROUP DISCUSSION OUTLINE Discussion Starters and Discussion Rubrics for ELA

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Zip
15 Pages, 1 Excel® Spreadsheet, 1 Google Sheets® Spreadsheet, 1 Instructional Video
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This outline is applicable to the harkness method, socratic seminar, fishbowl discussion and other ELA speaking assessments for the secondary classroom. Includes discussion strategies, grading scale, templates, contribution categories and examples.



How to use this resource:
Included in this discussion outline are over 40 sentence stems to scaffold students towards contributing appropriately in formal, academic discussions. A contribution suggestion key is also provided, which students will become familiar with, and begin to offer rich, diverse responses during classroom conversations.

Also included are 21 Question Prompts for Any Novel – use these questions to guide class-wide discussions, or provide them to students for smaller classroom conversations about any literary text.

Assessment material has been provided to enable you to grade group discussions with ease. The individual rubric can be used for sitting in on student-led conversations. Data tracking templates, formatted for Google Sheets®, Microsoft Excel®, and paper-based learning, will also offer qualitative and quantitative data to you and your students.

A graded example Data Tracking sheet has also been provided in order to model expectations and demonstrate a completed discussion to your students. This sheet is annotated to elaborate on the rationale for students’ grades.

Finally, a demonstration video showing how I use these resources has also been included. These video instructions will guide you through these materials and how to best implement them with your students.

You might also be interested in Mondays Made Easy's Reading Strategies.


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Mondays Made Easy is committed to the continual improvement of resources to meet the current needs of teachers. This product was last updated on October 27, 2020.

Total Pages
15 Pages, 1 Excel® Spreadsheet, 1 Google Sheets® Spreadsheet, 1 Instructional Video
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
Lifelong tool
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


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