Day 35: The roles we play in discussion

Because we will be starting to discuss To Kill a Mockingbird in small groups and as a whole class, we needed to cover what a good discussion is.

1. Pre-discussion writing. All students wrote a body paragraph answering the question, “Is Miss Caroline a good teacher?” Students should have used a topic sentence, specific evidence, and a conclusion sentence.

2. Mock discussion. Ten students discussed the question while pretending to be different discusser types. You can download the types of discussers here: TKAM The Roles We Play in Discussion. Here are the different roles we played:

1.  Chairperson – You see yourself as the leader and coordinator of the group.

2.  Caspar Milquetoast – You have good ideas but are too shy to speak except when asked.

3.   Dictator – You feel you could do a much better job of being chairperson of the group and let everyone know it.

4.  Wishy-Washy – You jump around among ideas.  You are sincere but unorganized.

5.  Agreer – You cut in to agree before people have finished talking.  You think you need to restate every statement

for clarification.

6.  Socrates – You are continually asking deep questions rather than dealing with the realities of the problem.

7.  Fifth Column – You see the discussion process as nonsense and talk only with your neighbor

8.  Pollyanna – You try to make sure that no one gets upset.

9.  Jester – You are the group clown.  You try to find a joke in everything.

10.  Boy Scout – You are warm, friendly, and helpful.  You try to keep everything to a time schedule.

As the ten players discussed, the rest of the class took notes on the discussion and tried to figure out who was playing which role.

3. Debriefing. After the 10-minute 10-person discussion ended, the other students (sitting in an outer circle) guess who played which part and commented on what went well and what didn’t work in the discussion.

4. Exit ticket. Finally, all students reflected on what type of discusser they are and what they can do to improve their habits.

HW: Honors – read through the end of Ch. 4

Regular – review Ch. 1-2