This is an example of Cooperative Learning: In this example, we want participants to first read something on their own, then discuss that reading with others who read the same thing, then form new groups where each person is the ‘expert’ on reading. They inform and are informed by others.
What we tell people: We have distributed three different brief readings, each on a different coloured sheet of paper.
(5 min) People with the same coloured sheets of paper get together (make groups of about 6 in size, or adjust depending on the number of people in the room; a minimum group size of 3 is recommended.)
Please read your reading (tell them how much time for this), then discuss it in your group who have read the same article or excerpt. You are in your ‘Expert Group’.
Discuss how this technique might be applied to yours (or any teaching and learning situation)
(10 min) Number off in this group (1-3 if <= 18, 1-6 if > 18). All 1s go together, all 2s, and all 3s. You are now in your ‘Base Group’. Teach the others in your group what you read about. Leave time for each ‘expert’ to share his or her main points. (Give time)
You can also do this with one reading, where you have divided it into sections, with each group being responsible for certain parts. Once the discussion starts, the whole article makes sense to everyone, but no one person has to read the whole thing (but I invite them to do so after class time; and it will make more sense to them having done this in-class activity.)