Question Time: A simple activity to promote group discussion

group discussionQuestion Time is a group discussion activity based very loosely on the BBC’s political talk show of the same name.

Ask students to think of three topics that they think might be interesting to talk about in class. Topics can be anything from nice weather and favourite foods to the political situation in Uganda, etc. Stress that the subjects are anonymous, nobody knows who contributes which subject.

Students write their topics on small slips of paper, fold them and put them in a cup or similar container.

Model the exercise by removing a discussion topic from the cup and reading it aloud. Ask any questions you like to whoever you like about the topic, let others add their opinions and see where the discussion goes. The person with the cup is the moderator and leads the discussion. As and when the conversation begins to lag, the cup is passed on to the next person who takes out the next topic and moderates the discussion.

Some discussion topics will be more successful than others, don’t be afraid to put a failing topic out of its misery. Try and pace the activity so that all students get a chance to be the moderator.

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