Leading discussion

Once in the semester, you will lead discussion for the main portion of class. As detailed in the online modalities page, this is the part of class where we will use breakout sessions to engage in greater depth with readings. Your job will be to decide what students do during the breakout sessions; you are welcome to be as creative as you like! You might write discussion questions, create an activity, or invite students to bring in stories, images, texts or ideas from outside class.

You must connect with me by the end of the day on the Monday of the week when you are leading discussion, so that I know what you are preparing and can make sure that what I prepare will complement it.

You will lead discussion either singly or with a partner (with whom you should collaborate, not simply divide up tasks and work alone). If you are leading discussion on your own, you need not cover all the material assigned for class; just let me know what you plan to focus on. If there are two students leading discussion, then you should make sure all the readings are touched upon.

If you lead discussion on your own, plan to fill 25-30 minutes; if leading with a partner, plan to fill 40-45 minutes. How you organize the time between whole-group discussions, breakout sessions, and other activities is up to you, so long as we spend some time in small groups.

Your plan for discussion-leading should include the following elements:

  • introduce the text(s) being discussed
  • prepare open-ended questions and/or an activity for small-group discussion (expect to split class into 4-5 groups)
  • have an accessible written or visual structure that can be shared with the class during the synchronous session and posted online afterward

Click here to sign up for discussion leading or to check the schedule (use tabs at bottom of sheet to navigate).