Supportive resources for classroom discussions

Helen Beevers and Lauren Tong
15th March 2019

Resources to help facilitate classroom discussions

In all subjects, discussions enhance learning and enable students to get a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. With various strategies and techniques to choose from, it can take time planning and preparing to ensure that each pupil contributes in the lesson. So with that in mind, we have gathered together a collection of resources to support classroom discussions.

Discussion Toolkit

The toolkit guides you through a variety of activities you can use to structure and encourage discussion in the classroom. It focuses on discussion, rather than debate, although many of the activities will work equally well for both. The first two pages offer a blurb about why talk is important with a bit of a PSHE focus. There are also lots of website links if you want to follow ideas further. enjoy!

By mikegershon

Classroom discussions: discussion formats

Classroom discussion is a great way for students to explore the science that relates to their lives. This pdf and the films on the web link give ideas for different discussion formats that will really help you structure a lesson. All the formats are designed to encourage participation and help students feel comfortable expressing their opinions
By Science Museum Learning

Academic Discussion Cards

These cards can be used with students in middle and high school to support academic discussion in partners, small groups, or with the whole class. The visually appealing cards are titled with different speaking "moves" such as: Agree, Challenge, New Idea, Citing Evidence, Question, and Wild. Students can use the appropriate card to support them in using each of the speaking moves. Each card contains sentence starters that students can use to aid their academic speaking and language.

The card titles and sentence starters can all be edited. The design, however, cannot, as the images are permanent.

Print out the cards--ideally in color and on card stock--cut along the outside of each move set, and fold so that the title and image are on one side and the sentence starters are on the other.

Having used these in my own class, I can attest that students love being able to hold up the card and feel like they have the necessary scaffolds during a class discussion.

Is there a card that you would love to see but is not included? Please provide suggestions and I may design new ones to add to the set!
By design4difference

Speaking and Listening Discussion Wheels

These Discussion Wheels for Speaking and Listening were created primarily as a ‘speaking and listening' pack to provide opportunities for discussion and to encourage your students to practise both skills.

I designed these fun discussion wheels as an ‘add on’ to a wide range of topics which you may be teaching in your classroom. They can be used in circle time, as a ‘lead in’ to a new topic, as an assessment of knowledge, as a talking and listening station – the possibilities are endless!

I have added some sample questions which might be useful. Again the possibilities for questions are endless and the type of question you ask will obviously be dependent on the picture chosen. Specific questions may also lead to general discussions e.g. animals habitats, terms such as ‘domestic’, ‘tame’ animals in captivity, hunting etc.


• Cover
• Teacher Notes
• 30 discussion wheels on a variety of topics, plus sample questions
• TOU/Credits


• Farm Animals
• Wild Animals
• Ocean Creatures
• Woodland Animals
• Nocturnal Animals
• Arctic Animals
• American Symbols
• Winter Sports
• Numbers
• 2D Shape
• 3D Shape
• Emotions
• Families
• Senses
• Sports
• Minibeasts
• Weather
• Clothing
• Jobs
• Tools
• Buildings
• Manners
• Technology
• Punctuation
• Fairytales
• Christmas
• Opposites
• Habitats
• Homophones
• Pirates


By TeachersToolkit

Discuss it- prompt mat

KS3 LA/SEN students use laminated mat to structure group work/ S&L tasks
By lyndsayamos

Discussion Prompt Cards {Thinking Skills}

A set of 28 discussion prompts including debate topics, science/world around us concepts, cause/effect and thinking skills.

Colour and black and white versions are included. Full size of cards is A4, however they can be printed smaller. Ideal for printing on card and laminating for long term use within the classroom.

Could be used as an early finisher activity, for written response/persuasion tasks or group discussions. I have used these cards with middle primary but could be used in a variety of ways with all year groups.

By Laura Brown

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