Today I want to talk about the difference between a response and discussion, and how to teach your kids how to actually have a discussion. 

A response is simply an answer to a question, while a discussion is a back-and-forth dialogue with one or more other people about a topic. 

So when you’re teaching kids how to have a discussion, you need to teach them to do three things: 

  1. How to give quality comments and contribute to the conversation using complete sentences and the language of the text or the conversation piece that they’re discussing. 
  1. How to give text dependent responses and use the text that they’ve read prior to the discussion in their response and root their discussion in that text. 
  1. How to actively listen! We need to teach kids to not just listen so they can say the next thing, but to actually listen to what the other person is saying, pick up the most relevant information, and then respond. 

And that’s how you teach discussion!

For more help and tips on how to engage your students in discussion, check out this book:

  • How to Teach Students to Critically Think About Text 

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.