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Dialogues Behind a Summer's Reading
Applying the concepts of inquiry and active listening through role play/fish bowl exercise for a post reading activity of the story A Summer’s Reading. Students present conversations between George and Mr. Cattanzara or George and Sophie, while observers take notes.
- Active listening
- Managing difficult conversations
Lead-in / Preparation
The teacher briefly introduces the concept of active listening to the class and explains shortly how to apply the skills of inquiry and acknowledgement.
Estimated Class-Time Required
2-3 lessons, depending on the number of students in the class. Each dialogue should not take longer than 3 minutes.
Description of Activities
- Students prepare dialogues in pairs (can be done as homework or in class). Half the class can be assigned the dialogue between George and Mr. Cattanzara and the other, George and Sophie. Each dialogue should include 4 questions – 2 by each character - and respective answers. The students are expected to demonstrate active listening. Each role play should last about 3 minutes. Students can use Inquiry Stems from the Pathways list:
|Could you help me to understand ...?|
|Could you show me how...?|
|Do you have anything to add to …?|
|How did you arrive at …?|
|How do you see...?|
|If we had to choose between ... and ...?|
|Please tell me more about...|
|Walk me through ...|
|What does it mean to you when... ?|
|What I'd like to understand is…?|
|What if we agreed to…?|
|What information/experience leads you to believe …?|
|What is your understanding of...?|
|What leads you to say that...?|
|What leads you to see … the way that you do?|
|What would be wrong with…?|
|Why do you feel...?|
|Why would … not work?|
|Why…? Why not…?|
|Would you prefer... or ...?|
- Each pair presents its dialogue in class. While they present, all observers take notes of the following:
- How many times the presenters used specific examples from the story in their dialogue?
- Did they give any information that contradicts the story? Which?
- How many active listening techniques did they use?
Note taking can keep the class focused while each pair presents. There is no need to prepare a worksheet for the observers.
They can create the following table on a piece of paper and count strokes:
|Pairs||Examples from story||Contradicting info||Active Listening|
The notes for the role play prepared by each pair as well as the notes taken by the observers, will be submitted to the teacher as part of the log.
Key Vocabulary / Phrases
- Inquiry stems listed above
- Vocabulary from the story
Grade the performance as a post reading activity:
- 80% Content: 4 inquiries, answers demonstrate understanding of the story
- 20% Language: Accuracy and fluency
Hold a short class discussion about the active listening they experienced.
Alternate between the two dialogues presentations (with Cattanzara, with Sophie). Do not have too many presentations in one lesson, since it can become boring to the observers.
|Dialogues Behind a Summer's Reading.pdf||Download|