Leveraging Discourse for Learning

Focus Area: Student-Centered Literacy


Phase: Targeted Support

Available July 2024


Discourse is essential to making student thinking visible and is a prerequisite to supporting students to make claims and share their perspectives. It is within the structures of discourse and debate that we can promote student-centered literacy practices and support students with the development of comprehension and critical thinking skills. In this virtual workshop, participants will define how providing students with the skills to engage in effective and productive discourse and defense can raise the rigor of our literacy instruction and promote student ownership, explore strategies for discourse that promote the development of key reading and comprehension skills, and build a vision for implementation of select strategies to use in upcoming lessons.


I plan high-quality 3-8 lessons for all research-based components of literacy instruction (Word Study, Writing, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension) that maintain high expectations for student performance.


  • 2 hours
  • Participants will need a computer with access to Zoom, a camera, a microphone, and stable Internet connectivity

Learning Experience

  • Define foundational elements of discourse and defense through self-assessment and understanding current research
  • Define a vision for implementing more discourse and defense in classroom realities
  • Explore ways to give students choice and ownership of the evidence-gathering process
  • Explore student-led questioning and discourse strategies in the BetterLesson Lab and in viewing classroom videos to unpack scenarios
  • Build discourse and defense into an upcoming lesson and receive peer feedback