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Fishbowl Discussion Method

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Summer Brewer

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of Fishbowl Discussion Method

Fishbowl Discussion
What is it?
A form of discussion where a small group discusses while larger group is active listeners.
Ties in perfectly with Core's "Accountable Talk" practices.
Easily taught and implemented.
How to start:

Students should be prepared:
-familiar with discussion topic, some notes made, etc
Pick the "fish"
-the small group that will discuss first while everyone
else takes notes or asks questions
Picking the "fish"
Teachers may:
-Ask for volunteers
-Number students off
-Use a program like Superteachertools.com to randomize electronically
If rosters are entered on Superteacher tools, select the number you want in your fishbowl:
Then voilà groups of 4 to rotate into the bowl:
Starting discussion:
The first group of "fish" are
moved to the center of the room.
Everyone else is circled around them.
*One variation is to leave an empty chair for an observer to move in and out of discussion.
Guidelines to consider:
Will observers ask questions or just listen?
Will observers have the opportunity to rotate in
or will you change out the whole group?
Will you set time limits?
Will notes be required or how will learning be assessed?
Once you have decided on the guidelines for your particular class and explained it to them...
Once you've decided on the guidelines
for your particular class
and explained it to them...
Dive into discussion!
Ideas for use in ELA:
-Groups could have different themes or characters to discuss when in the bowl and others could question.
-Discuss why a certain novel is still relevant today.
-Fate vs. Free Will in an ancient play
-Is Nick a reliable narrator? What makes him so or not?
-Let students create topics or questions for discussion.
-What happens to the characters AFTER the end of the story?

Don't forget:
-To be "Accountable Talk" students must use their texts to support their discussion.
-If it doesn't work the first time, don't give up! Good discussion takes practice.
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