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Seed Discussion

The Seed Discussion strategy is a two-step process to encourage in-depth discussions of reading selections. First, individual readers identify "seeds" for discussion—key concepts or questions that require further elaboration. Second, these students present their "seeds" to initiate group discussion. Each "seed" should be thoroughly discussed before moving to the next "seed."

This strategy encourages both critical thinking skills (required to isolate and articulate the "seeds") and communication skills (required to adequately develop and discuss the "seeds" within the group).

Steps to Seed Discussions:

  1. Explain the dynamics of a seed discussion. Focus specifically on the four roles played by students.

  1. Provide a series of questions about a reading selection that will assist students to identify possible "seeds" for discussion.

    • What new information does the reading selection provide?
    • What did you find interesting or surprising about the selection?
    • What did you not understand in the selection?

  2. Allow students time to write and refine their "seeds."

  3. Have students initiate discussion by presenting their "seeds." Wait for at least four comments about a "seed" before moving on to the next.

  4. At the end of the discussion, have students evaluate the strongest and weakest "seeds." Ask them to describe criteria for determining quality "seed" ideas.

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