Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Home| OISE| U of T| Quercus| Site Map | Contact Us | Accessibility | Feeling Distressed?
INSPIRING EDUCATION | oise.utoronto.ca
ESL Infusion at OISE
Go to selected destination


Title: Continue the Discussion Activity

OBJECT: To initiate and facilitate creative “talk” on a given topic. This activity is also useful to help review vocabulary before a quiz or at the end of a unit. The example I have provided is “poetry,” but this activity would work with most topics in most subjects. I have used this activity with secondary school students, but with appropriate modifications, this activity could also work in the earlier grades.

MATERIALS: The instructor must prepare a class set of slips of paper with two topic relevant vocabulary words written on each one. For example, for a unit on poetry, if one slip says, “Poetry…dream,” then the next slip would say “dream…rhyme,” then, “rhyme…Shakespeare,” and so on.

1. At the end of a unit on a given topic, brainstorm with students about what was studied (Ex. poetry).

2. Record many of the student’s words and ideas on the board. (Ex. Rhyme, meter, alliteration, Shakespeare, etc.)

3. Hand out the prepared slips of paper to the students (one each).

4. Allow a few minutes for the students to think about the two words written on their slip of paper, and how they could begin to talk using the first word, and end with the last word.

5. Ask for the student who has the first word “Poetry” to begin to speak. He/She should say at least one or two sentences about poetry end his/her talk with the second word on his/her paper. (Example: Student #1, “Poetry……dream”)
“Poetry can be written in many different ways and forms, umm, and...there are some poets, like Coleridge in “Kubla Kahn,” who get their inspiration in the morning after they have a dream.)

6. The student whose first word matches the first student’s last word then begins to speak. He/She will finish speaking with the last word on his/her paper.
(Example: Student #2, “Dreams…rhyme”)
“Dreams can be poetry, but so can anything in life...like...um....if...you see a flower and you write about it, you might say the violet is blue and so is my shoe, and that would be an example of rhyme.

7. This continues until everyone has said something about the topic.

1. Instead of doing the activity as a whole class, divide the class up into smaller groups and hand out more than one slip to each student. For students who are new language learners, speaking in a small group setting is less intimidating than speaking in front of the whole class.
2. Encourage students to collaborate or work and speak in pairs.
3. Allow time for students to prepare what they will say.
4. Be sure to review all of the words beforehand, so none of the words on the slips of paper are new vocabulary.
5. Give positive feedback after each student speaks to build a safe environment for participation.

Submitted by: Colleen Grandy

OISEcms v.1.0 | Site last updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Disclaimer

© OISE University of Toronto
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6 CANADA