Discussion Web

Upper elementary and above

  • Comprehension
  • Critical reading/thinking
  • Look at issues from different perspectives
  • Summarize
  • Writing

Strategy steps:

  1. Select a story or article that presents conflicting opinions of a character’s actions or which deals with a controversial topic.
  2. After the students have read the selection, introduce the Discussion Web and the focus question for discussion. For example, after reading an article on the war in Iraq, the focus question might be: Should Americans have started the war in Iraq?Focus Question
  3. Students work with partners, discuss the focus question, and present reasons for both sides of the issue. They determine the “yes” reasons for the focus question and write them in the chart. Then they determine the “no” reasons for the issue and write them in the appropriate column.
  4. Have one set of partners combine with another set of partners, share, and discuss their discussion webs. They may add additional arguments to both sides of the question and then formulate and write a summary statement.