This month we’re encouraging you to capture conversation and thinking as part of interaction with peers. Literal and figurative representation through creative outlets enhances a story. The opportunity to creatively capture thoughts and incorporate art in the process aids in comprehension. Teaching students strategies for speaking and listening is just one part of the art of conversation. Capturing the dialogue and illustrating the complexities and nuances of deliberation is a creative outlet for demonstrating understanding. The organization of thoughts and ideas in a way that will deepen understanding also allows for creativity.
- To help students think about having a conversation, about speaking and listening, you might start with a practice activity, like this one from Discovery Education. Especially early in the year or with a new group, students may feel uncomfortable having in-depth conversation with others. Practicing with an easy or light topic can be a great way to jump in.
- Identify a pertinent topic or event for students to talk about This may include a reading, video, lecture, TED talk, etc. Current events are great points of conversation, though an interesting reading from your curriculum or an interesting podcast could be just as good. C-SPAN Classroom offers C-SPAN Deliberations, a set of tools and resources for learning about and discussing current issues.
- Talk with students about how to organize or capture any ideas they may have about a topic or how to contribute to conversations. Sticky notes are a popular strategy.
- Giving students tools for organizing their thoughts is just as important as giving students tools or prompts for their conversations. You might also consider giving students a list of clarifying questions that might help them move the conversation forward.
- It’s time to capture the conversation. Use text, image, or video to organize information in a way that makes sense and allows you to draw connections, build and demonstrate understanding. We suggest checking out any of the previous months’ Connecting Creativity quests – photography, videography, sketchnotes, coding; the sky’s the limit!
- Share students’ work
- Consider connecting outside your classroom to continue conversations. We’d be happy to help you make a connection!
Connecting Creativity, at its core, functions on the ideal that student work, particularly writing and design, should be published and shared. As a teacher, if you already have a channel in place to share student work, such as a blog, website, or social media account, we ask that you share the link(s) to student work with us to continue to share with others. If you do not have a method for sharing student work, we invite you publish your students’ work via one of our channels. We would be happy to post student work on rethinkredesign.org. Additionally, if you would like support in setting up your own channel for publishing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Apps
Edutopia: Teaching Students How to Have a Conversation
Scholastic: Building Self Expression Tools
Teaching Strategies for Speaking and Listening
Teaching Speaking and Listening for Primary Grades
Huffington Post: Teaching Teens about Conversation
Three Teachers Answers to Questions…
Teaching Channel: Teaching Students to Contribute to Class Discussions
Teaching Channel: Socratic Seminars