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Chat discussion icons

Chat discussion icons (MBezvodinskikh, iStockphoto)

Chat discussion icons

Chat discussion icons (MBezvodinskikh, iStockphoto)


This strategy helps students participate actively in group discussions.

Why use it?

  • To support making connections based on a text
  • To practice listening and talking skills
  • To increase comprehension 

Tips for success

  • Before beginning, give students some suggestions around what they might say. Some examples include a connection, a wonder, or a prediction. 
  • Students could chunk the text by drawing lines or placing sticky notes at stopping places throughout the text. 
  • Model this routine before students begin. 
  • Give students a purpose for reading or a few guiding questions to help frame their conversation. 

How do I use it?

  1. Students split into pairs (partners A and B). 
  2. Students chunk text into short sections.
  3. Students then read the text and take turns saying something. Both students read the first section silently. Then, A says something (makes a connection to a key idea or wonders about something related to the text). B does not respond.
  4. Both students then read the second section silently. Then, B says something. A does not respond.
  5. This pattern continues until the text is finished. Partners then discuss the content of the entire piece of content.
Two students talking to each other about a text
Two students talking to each other about a text (Source: SDI Productions via iStockphoto)


  • The other partner could respond to what their peer says. The partners could engage in dialogue about the ideas in the text. Partners might make connections to prior knowledge and experiences as well as other texts. 
  • Students could read the next chunk out loud instead of silently. 
  • Consider providing students with sentence stems, especially if this strategy is new for them. Sentence stems might include: 
    • I wonder…
    • I noticed…
    • I predict that…
    • This reminds me of…
    • The main idea of this part is…
  • Students could communicate their thoughts after reading through writing or a quick drawing instead of speaking. 


Garmston, R. J., & Buckley, M. (2013). The presenter's fieldbook: A practical guide.