The Text Rendering Experience
How often do you feel frustrated having students discuss an article? I would highly recommend checking out the National School Reform Faculty site for ideas. "The Text Rendering Experience" is one idea that I found of great use.
Here's how it works. Have students read through the article looking for the best word, sentence and phrase that describes the text.
Now the fun begins! Break students into groups and assign 1 person to act as the "recorder." Round 1 begins with each student in the group sharing the most important sentence of the text with an explanation. Round 2 requires students to share the most important phrase of the text with an explanation. Finally round 3 requires students to share the most important word of the text with an explanation.
After the groups have had time to discuss, you can now transition into a group discussion. See link above with more detailed version of instructions.