Lesson: Turn and talk (keeping conversation going)

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Lesson Objective

Students will use prompts to continue a conversation about a book.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): We know that good readers begin conversations about books and respond to a partner during a book talk.  This is a great start for the work we will be doing today.  When I talk with friends, I don’t say one thing and then my friend responds ending the conversation.  A conversation requires that both partners listen carefully and continue responding to keep the talk going. We will learn prompts today to help move a conversation forward.


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers, we spent a lot of time responding to conversation starters during our lesson yesterday.  Today we will use what we learned yesterday to keep conversations going.  I think it is helpful to have sentence starters as we continue to respond to each other.  Teacher reveals teaching chart for the day with the following prompts.


I have a different opinion…

I also noticed… Do you agree?

I see what you are saying but…

I want to add…


The first prompt is a great way to respectfully disagree with a partner.  Sometimes when we read we view a story differently than our partner.  We may not always feel the same way or think about a character in the same way.  For example, I thought that Sam the mouse in Library Mouse was going to show up for the Meet the Author Day but many of you disagreed on your exit slips.  Having a different opinion is okay and it opens up conversation for you to learn from your partner.


Sometimes we want to change topics because we have already shared our opinions and evidence.  We can change the topic or move the conversation along by saying, “I also noticed” and ask if our partner agrees with our ideas.  I like to use this prompt when I am ready to move on to another part of the story or book. 


Another way to disagree with a partner or to share information that doesn’t match with your partners ideas is to use the prompt “I see what you are saying but”.  This prompt allows us to agree with our partner but also add information to the conversation, which might challenge our partner’s thinking. 


A final prompt we can use is “ I want to add” when we need to add information to our partner’s ideas.  We may have evidence we want to share or have a bigger idea about the text.  This is a great time to pull in details from the text.


Today, I will not be modeling these conversations.  You will be practicing with a partner as I listen in to your conversations.  Each time we finish a conversation, I will select two partners to share out in the middle of our circle to the rest of the class.  We have read the first part of Library Mouse for two days.  Today we will continue reading the book and push our thinking.  Before we begin, turn and retell for your partner what has happened in the book to this point.  Students turn and talk and teacher summarizes for the class.  Teacher reads aloud from text.


Sam felt very nervous.  He was happy that the children at the library liked his books.  He was flattered that they wanted to meet him.  But mice, as a rule, are very shy when it comes to meeting people!  Sam could not understand why people thought that writing and making up stories was so hard.  If only they would try, they might find out that writing was really lots of fun.  Sam had an idea.  He went to the librarian’s desk and got some supplies.  All night long he wrote and drew and snipped and folded and stapled his little rectangles of paper into mouse-size books.



Think for a minute about how you can start a conversation about this page.  Remember we start a conversation with I notice, I wonder, or I think.  Partner 1 you will begin the conversation.  Partner 2, your job is to listen very closely and respond to your partner.  Our goal today is to keep the conversation going, so partner 1 pay attention and get ready to use our prompts from today to respond to your partner again.  Let’s try.  Students turn and talk as teacher listens in to conversations.  Teacher selects two students to share their conversations in a “fish bowl’ format for the rest of the class.


What did you notice about their conversation?  Students share out their what they notice as teacher guides conversation.  I really like how the partners responded to each other and used prompts from all of our lessons.  Let’s try again to see if another group can model for the class.  Teacher reads aloud next page of book.


In the morning, when the librarian opened up the children’s room, there was a sheet of paper taped to the door.  “Meet the author today!” it read.  A little girl was the first to see Sam’s display, all set up on the front table.  “What is this?”  she asked.  There sat a tissue box, with a pair of pencils taped to the sides and a banner stretched across the top.  On the banner was written, “Meet the Author!” with an arrow pointed down. 


This is so interesting! What do you think is in the box?  Think for a minute and get ready to share.  We will switch roles this time.  Partner 2, you will begin the conversation and partner 1 you will respond.  Remember keep the conversation going.  Students turn and talk as teacher listens in to conversations. Teacher selects two students to share their conversations in a “fish bowl’ format for the rest of the class.


What did you notice about their conversation?  Students share out their what they notice as teacher guides conversation. I think we are ready to try at our seats.  During workshop time, you will be given the last three pages of the book, Library Mouse.  After each page, you should stop and talk with your partner.  As you talk, record your conversation on the exit slip.  This will show me what prompts you used and what you were thinking as you read.  I still want you to have the conversation with your partner, but we will add the step of writing or recording what we are saying.  Off you go.




Active Engagement (15-20 mins):  Students should return to their seats.  They should continue to read with their partner and discuss their thinking.  The exit slip gives examples of all the prompts learned over the past three days.  It is a little difficult for students to talk and record their conversation in writing, but this is helpful to make sure they use the prompts.  Teacher should circulate during this time and conference with students. 


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins):  Students are given a few minutes to model their conversations for the rest of the class.  In this classroom discussion format, students can provide feedback to the partners that choose to model their thinking for the class.  Teacher can informally assess from this share process or collect exit slips to determine mastery.


Reflection: Although these conversations are very planned, it is important that students have this foundation.  Once they are fluent in using accountable talk, they may begin to use their own prompts.  The goal is to have organic conversations between students but realistically these type of lessons are required throughout the year in order to prepare students to have more realistic conversations. 

Lesson Resources

Responding to a Partner Exit Slip.doc  


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