Roundtable discussion

Subject: Cross-cutting themes
Summary: Students discuss their opinions on a given problem. This lesson plan can be used for different subjects as it is the teacher who decides on the thesis, which can be related to the current subject matter.
Activity length: Duration is 60 to 75 minutes.
Objectives:

Students will be able to express and explain their opinion to the problem solution.

Students will be able to build their arguments.

Preparation:

The teacher arranges the chairs in the classroom in a circle.

Description:

Part 1: A thesis for the roundtable discussion is chosen. Examples of theses:

Fashion is art.

Foreign movies should be broadcasted only in the original production with subtitles.

Egypt is the cradle of the European civilization.

Drama is a more effective art form than poetry.

Part 2: Please follow the guidelines:

  1. The teacher presents the structure of the roundtable discussion………………………15 – 30 min.
  2. MODERATOR – introduction to the topic and opening of the roundtable discussion…. 1 min.
  3. AGREEING SPEAKER – presents arguments in favor of the thesis………………1 min. (3 min.)
  4. DISAGREEING SPEAKER – presents arguments against the thesis……………1 min. (3 min.)
  5. QUESTIONS – other participants ask question, whichever speaker can answer (not only the one who has been asked the question)……………………………………………………4 min. (7 min.)
  6. DISCUSSION – the moderator opens a discussion to the given problem, moderates it, encourages contributions and corrects the outcomes if needed…………………………………6 min. (12 min.)
  7. CLOSING – the moderator sums up the roundtable discussion…………………1 min. (2 min.)
  8. REFLECTION – evaluation of the debating process, evaluating the assessment criteria and the result of the voting…………………………………………………………………………….15 min.
Assessment:

Peer evaluation

Additional notes:

The time frame of the roundtable discussion can be adjusted to the participants’ level of debating skills or to the number of students in the class. It is possible to finish 2 – 3 roundtable discussions with the beginners or 1 roundtable discussion with advanced students.

References

SNIDER, A. – SCHNURER, M. Many sides. Debates across the curriculum. New York : International Debate Education Association, 2006. 308 p. ISBN 978-1-932716-17-7.