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Tool: Sketching and analyzing discussions

On Side 1 of the Discussion Sketch, you enter a few key characteristics of the lesson. On Side 2 you take structured notes during the discussion--just enough to be useful to you and your partner. You can analyze the Sketch directly, or use any of the accompanying tools to analyze it. Our discussion samples are lesson transcripts organized in the form of the Sketch. [Discussion samples].

Discussion sketch, side 1

On this side, quickly mark a few key characteristics of the discussion.  On the other side, compactly record a discussion by noting the teacher's questions, student's comments and teacher's responses to those comments. 

Curriculum expectation or benchmark:


Objective (what students should know or be able to do):


Object to be discussed (text, data, image, video, map, chart, representation of a phenomenon, students' personal experience, etc.):


Grouping pattern

____ Whole class
____ Small groups
____ Pairs

Uses of language

____ Students learn language
____ Students learn about language
____ Students learn through language

 Type of discussion [resources > discussion type]

__ Recitation:  Teacher asks what students know and builds upon that so students share a small body of knowledge. 

__ Guided discussion: Teacher invites and helps students to comprehend, explore, analyze or evaluate a phenomenon, concept, problem or issue

__ Open-ended discussion.  Teacher invites students to synthesize and evaluate. Teacher participates with restraint.

Map the classroom and enter student names.


Discussion sketch, side 2


Teacher's question or statement

Student's statement or question

Teacher's response






















[Also in RTF for editing and PDF for printing]