Literary Discussion Roles: Discussion Director

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT pose questions about a text to a small discussion group.

Big Idea

Asking the questions that get people talking.


5 minutes

As we continue our training session for a Harvey Daniels Literature Circle discussion, I have students prepare for class by taking out their Literature Circle Reference Guide and a sheet of paper. 

I ask them to set up a new sheet of paper for the role of Discussion Director and to turn to the instructions for the role of Discussion Director in their guide.

Getting Down to Business

40 minutes

Before I have the students begin their work as Discussion Director, we review the instructions for the role.

I draw their attention to the line that reads, "Usually, the best discussion questions come from your own thoughts, feelings, or concerns as you read."  I want them to be aware of their own reactions to the text as they are reading.  It is from these reactions that they will create interesting questions to discuss.

This discussion role could be introduced with a think aloud using sticky notes as well.

Once I'm sure that students understand the task, I allow them time to reread Chapter 10 and create discussion questions.

Did They Get It?

10 minutes

When there are about 10 minutes left in class, I walk my students through how to pose questions in a literary discussion.

Before we begin the sharing, I draw their attention to the Discussion Agreements section of the Literary Circle Reference Guide. I discuss with them the added responsibility on the discussion director to make sure that everyone's ideas are heard and that everyone has been encouraged to participate.

Each member of the group will get to ask one of their questions.  The group will then discuss that question for a minute or two.

As students are sharing, I circulate to see how it's going.  I will take notes on what the students are talking about so that I can share my observations with the class afterwards.

Once this step is complete, I congratulate my students on learning all of the Literature Circle Discussion Roles.  It's now time to talk about who is going to volunteer to be a part of the fish bowl.

Everyone else puts their papers away in their binders, as I will check them after they've written a reflection paragraph about the Fishbowl Discussion.