Turn and Talk – Procedures and Routines
How to Use
Pose a question or prompt for students to discuss and tell them how much time they will have. A one-to-two minute discussion is most productive.
Have students turn to a specific partner. Pair students using Eyeball Partners, Shoulder Partners, or Clock Partners (see variations below). Partner assignments should be set up beforehand so that students can quickly and easily pair up.
Set a timer for the allotted time, and have students begin discussing the assigned question or prompt. When time is up, ask partners to share out thoughts and ideas from their discussion.
When to Use
Use Turn and Talk at any time during a lesson to encourage accountable talk:
- As a warm-up activity to discuss previous lesson or homework assignment
- After five to seven minutes of oral or written input, to help student process what they have just heard or read
- During class discussions as a way for students to discuss ideas before sharing them with the class
- As a closing activity so that students can review what was learned in the lesson
- As a clarification tool for a complex problem or new guiding question posed by the teacher
When students are seated at tables or in groups, “eyeball partners” are students who are facing in front of each other.
When students are seated at tables or in groups, “shoulder partners” are students who are seated next to each other. This may also be done when students are seated in rows.
Using a clock template, have students “make appointments” with four other classmates, one for 12 o’clock, one for 3 o’clock, one for 6 o’clock, and one for 9 o’clock. Partners may not be repeated. When ready to use partners, simply say “Work with your [choose one of the times] partner.” In Primary Grades PK-1, partners should be assigned by the teacher.
Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice So Many Uses by Lucy West & Antonia Cameron
6 Easy Ways to Improve Turn & Talk for Student Language Development
Turn and Talk from HAMERAY PUBLISHING
Why Talk Is Important in Classrooms- from Content-Area Conversations by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Carol Rothenberg
Structured Student Talk From El Achieve
Turn and Talk Tips and Examples
Keep Your Students Engaged with “Turn and Talk” by RACHEL LYNETTE
TURN AND TALK PROMPTS
Please note that the list below is not meant to be a comprehensive list of Turn and Talk prompts, but simply a starter guide to get you thinking about how you can use this tool in your classroom.
1. Which character did you identify most with in the book and why?
2. What do you predict will happen in the next chapter?
3. What did you visualize when you read this chapter?
4. Describe a connection you made while reading this piece. It can be a text-to-text, text-to-self, or text-to-world connection.
5. What is something the main character did that surprised you?
6. Choose a word that was unfamiliar to you when you first read this book. Explain to your partner how you determined the meaning of the word.
7. What do you think is the theme of the story?
8. Do you agree with the character’s actions? Why or why not?
9. After reading this book, what is one question you would want to ask the author?
10. What do you think the author’s purpose was for writing this story?
1. Explain the strategy you used to solve this problem, and why you chose it.
2. Share three ways we use math in our everyday lives.
3. Analyze this problem and see if you can find the error the student made while solving it. Discuss with your partner how you would correct the error.
4. Do you agree or disagree with how I just solved this problem? Defend your answer.
5. What would be the next step?
6. Choose one math tool / manipulative we have used this year, and explain to your partner what it can be used for.
7. Which image / shape / pattern does not belong in this set of 4? Explain your thinking.
8. What information do you still need in order to solve this problem?
9. I can check my answer by……
10. I know my answer is reasonable because…
1. The physical properties of ___________ and ____________ are similar because ___________________.
2. What do you predict will happen as we complete this investigation?
3. Choose one science safety tool and explain to your partner how to use it and why it is important.
4. Explain what you observed during the experiment, and why you think this happened.
5. Explain the process of how matter can change from one state to another.
6. Choose a plant or animal we have studied, and explain how it is adapted to thrive in its particular environment.
7. Take turns describing to each other the stages of the ___________’s life cycle.
8. A change we could make to our design is _______________. I think this will impact it by __________________.
9. Choose one environmental change, and explain to your partner how it impacts the environment.
10. How can we represent the data we have collected from this experiment?
1. Which invention do you think had the greatest impact on our society and why?
2. Do you think it is important to learn about the history of our country? Defend your answer.
3. Think about the two cultures we have studied. Describe one way in which they are similar and one way in which they are different.
4. Describe how ________________ had an impact on society.
5. How can you determine if an online resource is valid?
6. Choose an important feature of a map or globe and explain its significance.
7. Explain how supply and demand effect the price of a good or service.
8. Find an example of one non-fiction text feature in your history textbook, show it to your partner, and explain how it helps you as a reader.
9. What do you think is the most important reason for a group of people to immigrate to another country?
10. Of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights, which do you think is most important? Defend your answer.