This works great for topic discussions (an example would be when we watched the animated movie "Persepolis", and needed to analyze and discuss it). It also works well for quick student critiques.
There are 6 stations in the classroom where students sit in groups of 4 - 6. I will put a large sheet of paper (18 x 24 or bigger) at each station.
- In the middle of the paper I will write a prompt (6 different prompts in total, one for each station). I might also provide an art image and written prompt for art history critique.
- Students have pencils ready.
- They have 3 minutes to visit each station as a group.
- At each station, students write (on the large sheet of paper) whatever comes to mind regarding the prompt.
- I have them work their way around the classroom in clock-wise formation.
- During the 3 minute period I play music as a cue for students to write. At the end of each 3 minute section, I stop the music as a cue for students to stop writing and move to the next station. This makes it fun and like the musical chairs game.
- Once the students have gone around the room and are back at their own station, we go into discussion mode.
- Students read the responses to each other and begin discussing the issue at their table.
- Students must find at least 5 main responses to the prompt topic and discuss them. They must have at least 2 responses that someone disagrees with, and discuss why they disagree and what their opposing point is as a result.
- The group "Recorder" writes down what their group discusses in a bullet list formation.
- The next day each group has 3 minutes to present discussion notes to the whole class. Each presentation, students in the class must have at least 1 response to challenge the group, question the group, or make a supportive remark. Often there is more than one response :). The group must counter any class feedback with an answer or explanation of their viewpoint.
- Students receive points for group discussion/recorded notes, and separate points for presentation to class.
- The results of this technique makes for what seems like chaos, but is really several fast-paced and animated discussions. Everyone in the class gets to participate first in a small-group setting for each topic, and then in larger group setting for all topics.
- I find that several things have made people forget about being self-conscious and silent in this kind of group discussion: 1) the whole thing is rather like a game and fun, 2) the fast pace puts pressure on people to come up with a response, 3) prompts give a clear indication of where I want them to start, 4) the structure provides a framework for definite but open-ended answers. 5) the grading structure insures that students must have something to present and a way to respond to the presentations (ensuring a flow of ideas and conversation), 6) since all students write on each of the prompt sheets, there is a sense of sharing information. Students get to use each others ideas to provoke further thought, 7)students become very loyal to their group and want to defend their stance to the class.
- I like to use this for progress critique when students are half way through an artwork and need feedback.
- 6 stations are set up free of clutter. Each student has their artwork placed on the table with a form next to it.
- The form is typed by me and has 3 prompts:
- In addition are two more sections: "Student response to critique", "Teacher response to critique."
- Students must travel to each station as a group. They have 4 minutes at each station and move around the room in clock-wise formation.
- Music is played to let students know when to write. Music stops and restarts to let students know when to switch stations.
- Student can choose to look at and critique any of the artworks at the table during the 4 minutes.
- They are moving as a group, but not working together as a group. Rather they address artwork and write individually. Often though, they are making verbal comments to each other as they look at the work.
- They must write 3 responses on the form next to the artwork. They must address the 3 prompts.
- All artwork must have responses on the form, so if students see a blank form, they have to make sure that someone writes on it.
- When students have visited all 6 stations, they return to their own station and artwork. They read what their classmates have written.
- Students spend remaining time writing their own reflective response to the critique of their work.
- Artwork and critique forms are turned in to teacher.
- Teacher writes a response to the critique.
- This has proven very helpful in addressing weaknesses in the artwork. I noticed that students take a peer's constructive advice for improvement more often than listen to me tell them the same thing.
- This can be used with the SHoM framework as a topic prompt.
*art projects: Mixed Media Blitz and Materials Madness. I'll describe them in another blog post.