This article applies to Imagine Reading and Imagine Lectura.
Teacher-mediated class discussion is an important part of Imagine Reading and Imagine Lectura because it gives students an opportunity to engage in and practice academic discourse about an authentic text. Both programs provide 2-4 Discussion Questions for each passage that you can use to encourage class discussion and help students explore and answer the unit's Focus Question.
Teachers can determine the best time to hold class discussions—after each individual passage or after students have read all the passages in the unit.
You can preview or print the Discussion Questions for each 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
Imagine Learning recommends that you help students learn specific academic discourse routines, followed by a gradual release to independence with continued monitoring. Students should 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. Support students by providing 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.
Example Discussion Questions, Imagine Reading (Impressive Animals unit, Grade 3):
Example Discussion Questions, Imagine Lectura (Los derechos civiles unit, Grade 5):