Discussions offer students a chance to express opinions and exchange information safely within the classroom. Discussions take place after the facilitator has provided material through a lecture, digital media, or reading. Talking about sexuality with students can be challenging because it is a subject that touches on our privacy and our vulnerability.
Advantages of Classroom Discussion
- Helps build a positive classroom climate
- Leads to student interest in sexual health
- Leads to recall
- Leads to analysis
- Results in students feeling more positive about themselves and the learning environment
- Normalizes changes students may be experiencing
- Allows more students to be involved and express their ideas
1. Set up an atmosphere ensuring sensitivity during the activity.
- Ensure ground rules that promote respectful interactions during discussions are in place.
- Facilitator should introduce topic for discussion through a short lecture, video, or skit.
- Defining terms is important to ensure all students are at a similar level of understanding.
2. Hold the discussion.
- Encourage students to participate in the discussion by asking questions, making suggestions and expressing ideas.
- Probe, prompt and redirect students to enhance the discussion.
- Encourage students to recall, analyze, generalize and personalize the information.
- Ensure correct information is being shared among the class.
3. Conclude the discussion.
- Find consensus, a solution, clarification of insights gained, or a summary (preferably one provided by the students).
Tips for Using Class Discussion
- Introduce facts and refute inaccuracies and myths.
- Be consistent with conventions such as hand raising and listening to the speaker. Some teachers find it helpful to use an object such as a talking stick.
- Maintain students’ integrity through respecting their questions and responses.
- Use “wait time”, the pause between asking a question and soliciting a response, to increase participation and improve the quality of student responses.
- Use open-ended questions to encourage higher level thinking.
- Remain conscious of your own values and reactions during the discussion. The teacher must model sensitivity and respect.
More class discussion activities can be found within the lesson plans. Activities are located at the end of each lesson.
- Grade 4 Lesson 1 Puberty Changes– Newsprint Display. Normalize the great and difficult things about growing up through a group discussion.
- Grade 7-9 Quick Lesson Sexual Development– Puberty Discussion Questions. Help students identify puberty as a time of change and development using discussion questions.
- Grade 9 Lesson 1 Coping with Development– Evaluating Self-esteem. Students examine the impact of negative self-esteem; negative feelings; and coping strategies.