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Discussions Feature With Early Elementary Students in Science Advice

I'm wanting to use the discussions feature with my elementary students in Science more.  Any tips for implementing this feature as a place to brainstorm with students in early elementary?  I'm hoping this will enable the less vocal students a way to add their thoughts.  Should I require them to post before they see other posts to encourage them not to copy the same responses?  Any advice?

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Community Coach
Community Coach


Online discussions can be such a powerful teaching and learning tool when used well, and so abysmally dismal when not.!  I have found some resources for you.............

  • Science Debates for Kids - while the topics are designed for in-classroom debates, these types of topics typically lend themselves well to online discussions. Asking students  state an opinion, and then defend; then agree or disagree with a classmate and defend is great learning. this site even divides the topics into grade-levels (k-2, 3 -4, 5 - 6).
  • Resources for Classroom Debates - This site not only provides topics, but al great tips for structure, grading rubrics and much more.

One of my own personal favorites, and one that provides students with choices, is to send them on a "Virtual Field Trip" to find information, answer questions, identify resources, etc. Example: Find a website that tells about diseases of the bones, choose a disease you are interested in, and come back and tell us about that disease; read about the diseases that your classmates have discussed, and research to of those diseases, then come back and reply to those students with at least one more fact about that disease that they had not shared.

This is a great Community, so I am certain others with even better minds will join you in here and share their wisdom and experience to help you out.

Agent K