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Sample sketch: Rosie's walk (first grade)

In contrast to the Arrays sample, notice how much room the children take up in this discussion. [While we present this transcript from an actual class in the format of the Discussion Sketch, it is more complete than you will need for your work.]

Discussion sketch, Side 2*


Teacher's question or statement

Student's statement or question

Teacher's response

[This small group discussion takes place in a space sectioned off from the classroom by a rug and hanging screen, while the other children are completing tasks in additional centers in the classroom. The teacher is a member of this small group.]

Who has something to say about Rosie’s Walk?

Carlos: I like when he gets stinged.  He running. All those bees get out. And I like another one.  The part in the haystack. It’s funny. You could get a lot of hay on you.

Israel: I like the part when the fox he keeps on trying to get the hen but he doesn’t.

I wonder why he never got the hen.

Israel: Because she, she comes over and the fox can’t.

Carlos: The fox trips.

So the hen can do things the fox can’t do and the fox keeps tripping himself.

Meredith: Um, well, um, I kind of like it when he falls in the hay. The cow made a funny face.

Shamir: I like when, um, when I think the flour got fell on him.

Takiya: When he kept tripping and stuff and she, she got away in time for dinner and he never could catch her because she was tiny and she could go over things.

I liked it that the hen kept getting away, too.

Takiya: Cause she, um, um, because she, [he] didn’t need to be eating animals.

Benjamin: I like the part where she just runs through the beehives.


Paul: I like the part when the fox got hit by the rake.


Jimmy: I like that he didn’t get the um, hen.

Do you think that Rosie knew the fox was behind her?

Several children: No, no.

Richard: What do you think?

Richard: I think she didn’t know.


Richard: Because she didn’t turn around.

How about you, Benjamin?

Benjamin: She never looked around her.

She just looked straight ahead.

Jimmy: Because she would have heard, have heard him. It was like too fast for her.

Good idea. Takiya?

Takiya: I think she didn’t, I think she didn’t because she never looked around her and, um, and she, um, I think she didn’t know because she never turned around and looked at her, but he at least didn’t get her even though she didn’t know that he was behind her. She got home just in time.

Richard: Like her eyes are always this way (pointing).

Shamir: I think she knew.

Why do you think she knew?

Shamir: Because, because if she didn’t know she wouldn’t have looked all around her, looking for stuff. I think she knew when she was getting ready to take a walk.


Carlos: Maybe she had a spy. Maybe that little wool on top (gestures to top of his head).

That’s an idea.

Israel: I like it when he gets sick because he’s a fox. I think I know why the hen, the hen thinks the fox is not in back of her.


Israel: Because the fox tries to catch the hen and she takes different places on her walk.

So you think she does that on purpose?

Israel: Yeah.

Benjamin, you have something to say?

Benjamin: He might look behind her real quick.  And she did all those things by accident, I mean on purpose.

Tiffany, go ahead.

Tiffany: She could have, could have heard the bees when they stinged the fox.

*Quoted from: McGee, L.M. (1996). Response-centered talk: Windows on children’s thinking. In L.B. Gambrell, & J.F. Almasi (Eds.). Lively Discussions! Fostering Engaged Reading (pp. 194-198). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

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