Reflection: ELL Students Natural Selection: Facilitating Student Discussion - Section 2: Explore - Student Discussion


In the strategy of Corners, students move to different corners of the room, depending on their point of view.  This activity may help students see that not everyone shares the same point of view, and it may stretch their own way of thinking. (SL7.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.) 

It is an excellent ELL strategy, as it helps develop students language skills while honoring that they have ideas to contribute.

  1. The teacher announces “corners.” Teacher announces the choices for each corner of the room. “Apply the definition of fitness to determine which lion has the greatest fitness: George, Dwayne, Spot, Tyrone?”

  2. Students are then given a small amount of silent think time to make a choice. They will write the name of their corner on a piece of paper but should not discuss it with anyone else.

  3. Teacher tells students to go to their chosen corners. Once they are in their corner, they must find a partner to talk with – someone not on their regular team.

  4. Pairs will then discuss the reason(s) for their choice. Teacher will then select a few students from each corner to share what his or her partner shared. 

  ELL Students: Corners
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Natural Selection: Facilitating Student Discussion

Unit 7: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Lesson 3 of 15

Objective: SWBAT participate in discussion groups to explore how natural selection may lead to increases or decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

Big Idea: Through various discussion activities students use an inquiry approach to come to a mutual understanding of evolution by natural selection.

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