July 4, 2009

Discussion Activities

Here are some stimulating ways to start discussions with teenagers:

  • Draw on students’ personal experiences.
  • Ask students to reflect on their own culture and attitudes.
  • Give students a concrete decision to make with their peers.
  • Keep the conversation peer-centered—plenty of pair or small group collaboration.
  • Keep to fairly short discussion activities (15 minutes) until you know what they like, and they feel relaxed enough with you to talk freely.
  • Avoid asking discussion questions around the class; this puts them in the spotlight and causes potential embarrassment in front of friends. You also risk dominating the talk.