Thursday, April 23, 2020

Videos and Discussion Webs

(sorry email subscribers for that last incomplete email, I hit Publish too soon)

Discussion webs are described in one of my favorite articles, The Magic of Once Upon A Time: Narrative Teaching Strategies (Hoggan & Strong, 1994). How nerdy that I have favorite journal articles, but anyway it was very influential for me and helped me see all of the activities that could spring from (any) context.

Copy and pas- I mean, quoting the article liberally: The discussion web (Alverman, 1991; Duthie, 1986) is a graphic aid that is used to support ideas during conversation about the story. Through its use, speech-language pathologists can guide students to discuss more complex ideas and concepts. The speech-language pathologist begins the discussion by asking an inferential or abstract question—for example, “Does the elephant deserve to be kicked out of the jungle?” The students then discuss, either as a whole group or with a partner, the reasons the elephant should or should not be kicked out (Appendix E).

Using the discussion web, the students can discuss their own reasons and react to opposing views. The language used during the exchange of reasons provides meaningful oral language practice. The discussion web does not have to focus on an issue found in the story. The speech-language pathologist can center the web around a related topic, giving students an opportunity to discuss issues of personal relevance. Discussion-web practice often begins with students working in pairs; one student then acts as a spokesperson and presents responses to a larger group, eventually leading to a whole-class discussion. When each pair is allowed to present only one reason to the larger group, students learn to prioritize and prepare for the final discussion.

Appendix E:

This was a tough week. The outbreak is still surging in Boston. It was a vacation week for us, but that of course didn't happen. The marathon didn't happen. Tuesday, it was announced that school is canceled for the remainder of the school year (expected, but still a gut punch, and we cried). Among other things. But we are healthy and working here, and have a lot to be grateful for. 

I was inspired by a video released by the Boston Globe on Monday and shared by a friend on Facebook: Here's the link.



We discussed this video in my groups as it prompts a lot of inferential and main idea thinking, and also is essentially Bostonian self-talk that serves as an Inner Coach Green Zone tool.

This would be an example of a discussion web you could use to provide a visual support for questions and responses- often writing down language and ideas helps students revise themselves and add on to what others have said as well. In Google Slides, shapes are your typable friend.



As always with Google shares, please don't request editing access. You can grab this slide for yourself by going to File>Make a Copy or File>Download as PPT

As an additional challenge/conversation prompt, I asked my group members to show the video to someone in their family and talk about it, and notified families about this in a follow-up email.

I hope this serves as helpful in its content, in its potential for use as-is over the coming week, and as an example of discussion webbing in response to a video.

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