I’m trying out a routine this fall called “Conversation Monday“. It’s my attempt to get students thinking and talking about things that matter in life, above and beyond the curriculum. It’s what we all need. This idea is inspired by a conversation method I helped develop for Teach Different.
Starting with a famous quote like this one from Einstein, students have a conversation about the claim and counterclaim to the quote by referencing their personal experiences and how these experiences affirm or contradict what Einstein is saying. They also answer an essential question which provokes them to take a stand.
That’s it. It’s the marriage of curiosity, critical thinking and the expression of social-emotional intelligence— all fueled by students’ shared personal experiences.
Here’s the routine
- Have students fill out this Google form to organize their thinking before the conversation. Edit the form as you wish and email it or post it for your students. (If you aren’t logged into a Gmail account, you might have to request access to the form)
- Review the Google spreadsheet of student responses that is automatically created. As you’re having the conversation, use the students’ prepared remarks as prompts to draw out their personal experiences.
- Evaluate using this rubric. (You could also have them answer the essential question after the conversation.)
If you give “Conversation Monday” a try, tell me how it goes and share sample student responses! If you want more of these conversations, email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you other quotations to keep the momentum.
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