Seed Discussion Organizer
About this printout
Students can utilize this printout to organize their thoughts as a new concept or content is introduced through a Seed Discussion. This printout readies students to acquire new knowledge by organizing what they know and what they're prepared to learn.
Teaching with this printout
Often times, introducing new content or new concepts can be overwhelming for students and teachers alike. Through the use of Seed Discussions, students are able to preview the new content or concepts for things that they can relate to. They seek out information that looks familiar to them, things they don’t quite understand, and things that look interesting to them, including new vocabulary.
Seed Discussions allow students to identify and develop topics important to their own thinking. Effective “seeds” from students’ individual work grow into dynamic discussions, driving the interest in new content and reaffirming their existing knowledge so that the “new” content doesn’t seem so intimidating.
To introduce new content or a new concept using this printout, try the following ideas:
- Pick a new piece of content or a new concept that you will be introducing to your students. This may be a new unit in your science textbook, a new chapter in a novel, or a magazine article on a current event, among other things.
- Give each student access to the new content, as well as a copy of this printout. Discuss with students the four categories that make up the printout and give them examples of things that they might write in each of the areas as they go through the new content. Model this process and do a think-aloud for your students on this printout, projected where the students can see it and give feedback.
- Allow students approximately 10-15 minutes to fill out their individual printout while exploring the new content. Once all students have completed the different areas of the organizer (aim for at least three questions/thoughts per box), allow them to discuss their findings with a partner or group.
- You may choose to have groups post their responses from their printouts and discussion on chart paper or a white board for the class to see.
- After discussing all of the students’ “seeds” that they found through perusing the content, allow them to discuss one another’s ideas, questions, and responses. Once the content has been previewed and “seeds” have been planted for students to think about, students are ready to dive into the new content, keeping the thoughts and questions from the Seed Discussion in the back of their mind.
See the Strategy Guide titled Introducing New Content with Seed Discussions for more information and ideas pertaining to this strategy
More ideas to try
- Discuss the process that students just completed. Ask students questions such as:
- How did you feel after completing your Seed Discussion Organizer and discussing it with your group?
- How might your Seed Discussion Organizer and our class conversations help you to become a better reader and thinker?
- How does this strategy help you become actively engaged in the new concept we are studying?
- Revisit this printout at the end of the unit, chapter, etc. to ensure that all questions were answered and the content was thoroughly understood. Allow time for students to go back and seek out information if it is not readily accessible by memory.