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2.10 Document-Based Whole-Class Discussion

The CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy contain Speaking and Listening Standards 6–12. Although these standards are not specifically addressed under the Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects 6–12, history/social studies teachers can address the Speaking and Listening Standards within their classrooms. For example, Standard 1 calls for students to participate in collaborative conversations.

Speaking and Listening Standard 1

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.S.1: Prepare for and participate in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

The grade level standards include specific guidance for students to focus much of their discussions on texts, which is especially applicable for discussing primary and secondary sources in history/social studies. For example, in grade 8 Reading Standard 1 is specified as:

S.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  2. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  3. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
  4. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
Time to Read

For recommendations on how to facilitate a class discussion, read “Document-based Whole-Class Discussion.” Pay particular attention to how the teacher assists students in preparing effectively for the discussion so they will be able to analyze evidence and claims in the documents for the “Texas Independence” lesson. Select the following link to see how this lesson correlates with the content standards:

CA History-Social Science Standards, Grade 8

The Seven Teacher Moves handout associated with the article are useful to helping teachers guide all students to deeper understanding and critical analysis of sources.

Supporting All Students in Collaborative Conversations

Meeting the Speaking and Listening Standards can be especially difficult for ELs and some students with disabilities. With carefully designed scaffolding, teachers can provide structures to aid students’ development and production of oral language.

Time to Read

For resources to support all students in meeting the Speaking and Listening Standards, read the following articles.

The Response Protocols discussed by Kathleen Mohr and Eric Mohr in “Extending English-Language Learners' Classroom Interactions Using the Response Protocol” (2007) are useful for all students.

Additonally, Spencer Kagan and Julie High list Kagen Structures that encourage all students to participate in small group discussions in their article, “Kagan Structures for English Language Learners,” (2002).

Further support for some students with disabilities can be provided by following the National Center on Universal Design for Learning’s UDL Guidelines “Principle 2: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression.” Read about Guideline 5 that calls for teachers to “provide options for expression and communication.”