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From that spot, students take turns defending their positions.Variations: Often a Philosophical Chairs debate will be based around a text or group of texts students have read ahead of time; students are required to cite textual evidence to support their claims and usually hold the texts in their hands during the discussion.
Before I knew the term Gallery Walk, I shared a strategy similar to it called Chat Stations, where the teacher prepares discussion prompts or content-related tasks and sets them up around the room for students to visit in small groups.
Some teachers set up one hot seat to represent each side, and students must take turns in the seat.
In less formal variations (which require less prep), a teacher may simply read provocative statements students are likely to disagree on, and a debate can occur spontaneously without a text to refer to (I call this variation This or That in my classroom icebreakers post).
This overview of Socratic Seminar from the website provides a list of appropriate questions, plus more information about how to prepare for a seminar.
Variations: If students are beginners, the teacher may write the discussion questions, or the question creation can be a joint effort.
actually meant the teacher would do most of the talking; He would throw out a couple of questions like “So what did you think about the video? ” and a few students would respond, resulting in something that like a discussion, but was ultimately just a conversation between the teacher and a handful of extroverted students; a classic case of Fisheye Teaching.
The problem wasn’t them; in most of the classrooms where they’d sat as students, that’s exactly what a class discussion looked like.
Small groups of students travel from station to station together, performing some kind of task or responding to a prompt, either of which will result in a conversation.
Variations: Some Gallery Walks stay true to the term , where groups of students create informative posters, then act as tour guides or docents, giving other students a short presentation about their poster and conducting a Q&A about it.
After some time passes, new students rotate from the seats behind the speaker into the center seats and continue the conversation.
Variations: When high school English teacher Sarah Brown Wessling introduced this strategy in the featured video (click Pinwheel Discussion above), she used it as a device for talking about literature, where each group represented a different author, plus one provocateur group.
Teachers may also opt to offer a continuum of choices, ranging from “Strongly Agree” on one side of the room, all the way to “Strongly Disagree” on the other, and have students place themselves along that continuum based on the strength of their convictions.