Understanding class discussions in Imagine Reading

Educator-mediated class discussion is an important part of Imagine Reading because it gives students an opportunity to engage in and practice academic discourse about an authentic text. Imagine Reading includes 2-4 example Discussion Questions for each passage or poetry study that Educators can use to stimulate class discussion. All Discussion Questions are designed to help students explore and answer the unit's Focus Question.

Educators can determine the best time to hold class discussions: after each individual passage or poetry study or after students have read all the passages or poetry studies in the unit. Educators can then view or print Discussion Questions for each individual passage or poetry study or for all passages or poetry studies in the unit.

Facilitating effective class discussions

In each class discussion, students learn techniques for academic communication, such as clarifying, elaborating, identifying common ground, and respecting differences of opinion. As students practice sharing and supporting their ideas, they transfer these strategies to independent conversations with peers or small groups. 

Some key elements of effective discussions are:

  • Disagreeing and challenging
  • Requesting justification
  • Building off another’s point
  • Conceding a point
  • Synthesizing and problem-solving

Educators should help students learn specific academic discourse routines, followed by a gradual release to independence with continued monitoring. Help students develop the ability to explain what opinions, background experiences, and evidence from the text combine to inform their particular point of view. Not all students are comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions, so be aware of and sensitive to students’ comfort levels, personality types, and cultural backgrounds. Encourage and support students, and use scaffolding to provide a safe entry point into the group conversation. Promote confidence by helping students find evidence for their opinions before explaining or defending them to their peers. Encourage students to follow discussion rules and create a supportive learning environment free of antagonism where students can think critically and argue effectively and respectfully.

To view or print passage or poetry study or unit discussion questions

  1. Log in to the Literacy suite. If this is your first time logging in, choose Imagine Reading

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  2. Click Unit Library in the upper navigation bar to find the unit that you want to view or print Discussion Questions for.
  3. In the navigation pane, click Overview for the Passage or Poetry Study that you want to view or print Discussion Questions for.
  4. Check the Discussion Questions section to see Discussion Questions for this specific Passage or Poetry Study.

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  5. Click Discussion Questions to view or print Discussion Questions for the entire unit.