How to Use Seed Discussions to Introduce New Topics?

Check Out the New Blog blog_june 1

Use Seed Discussions in the classroom to create an interactive way to introduce new lessons and reading materials to the class.

What is a Seed Discussion?

Do you have difficulty introducing new topics to the class? Are you constantly thinking of strategies you can use to make a new lesson interesting for your students? If yes, then the Seed Discussion strategy is perfect for you. This strategy is similar to a preview or trailer of the lesson and is sure to grab your students attention from the start. A Seed Discussion is a two-part strategy used to teach students how to engage in discussions about assigned readings or new topics. In the first part, students read selected text and identify “seeds” or key concepts of a passage that may need additional explanation. In the second part, students work in small groups to present their seeds to one another.

Understanding the Seed Discussion strategy?

A Seed Discussion is a strategy in which students collectively discuss and analyze their assigned reading materials. It involves two steps; the first is the“identification of seeds”. Here students are instructed to list key points, facts and concepts from the material or their thoughts on the material. The information listed should fall under four main seed categories;“familiar, new vocabulary, unknown (requires explanation) and interesting.” The second step is about “transferring information.” Students are instructed to present their seeds to the others and discuss each seed in detail.

Benefits of the Seed Discussion strategy

The categorization and identification of familiar concepts and bridging it with the new ones helps students to engage in new information. A Seed Discussion is an active interaction between the students that stimulates higher cognitive skills like brainstorming, analysis, reflection and also the development of group and communicative skills. The active participation and discussion also helps to build interest and curiosity in the lesson.

Classroom application of the Seed Discussion

First, pick out the reading material on which the strategy is to be applied and ensure that students have a copy. Second, create a Seed Discussion template or an organizer. This will help students to generate their thoughts or questions regarding the material. For demonstration, draw a Seed Discussion organizer on the white board. Divide the board into two rows and two columns, creating four small boxes. Label each box as “familiar, interesting, unknown and new vocabulary”. The same graph can be made on a piece of paper or poster board and handed out to the students (to be used either individually or in groups). Explain each category and model the process with examples from a reading material.

Once the strategy has been demonstrated, place your students into groups of 4. Instruct them to read through the remaining reading material and to fill in their Seed Discussion organizer with additional information, questions or thoughts (at least three in each box). Give your students 10-15 minutes to complete this task.

After the seeds have been identified in each group they shouldpresent their graphs to the class. During each presentation, instruct the other students to make a note of the seeds (in different colors) that the other groups have mentioned. Once the presentation is over the other classmates are given a time to ask questions and make comments on the presentation given by their classmates.

Thus with application of Seed Discussions, new topics can be introduced in an innovative manner, building interest and curiosity among students.

Like this article for teachers?

Browse the Professional Learning Board COURSE CATALOG to find related online courses for teachers in your state. Professional Learning Board is a leading provider of online professional development classes that teachers use to renew a teaching license or renew a teaching certificate.

About Network

Did you forget your username or password?
Login here using your username and password:
Click below to find your state to register for a course.