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Writers Engage in Daily Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening Across the Subject Areas

Silent Discussion Carousel 

This can be adapted for grades 2-12 and across all subject areas. The example below is written for a Grade 6 Social Studies unit on Ancient Civilizations.  


  • Chart paper (4-5 depending on the group size)
  • Plenty of markers
  • Topical artifacts (could be photos or models) and/or provocative passage or sentence from familiar class text aligned with subject matter


  • If using text, write the passage or sentence on the chart paper. If using an artifact, place it near the chart paper for students to see. Set up tables to accommodate students and chart paper
  • Place students in small groups of no more than 5-6
  • Students will respond to the artifact’s significance (or whatever you think would make sense) or to the text’s significance (personalize the prompt according to your desire and the students’)
  • All responses will be done in writing in silence. Not a spoken word
  • Each group has 3 minutes to write their thoughts on the chart paper (ask them to initial their responses as this can assist in formative assessments), moving around to accommodate their peers
  • After 3 minutes or so, students will rotate to another group and visit the artifact or text
  • Share and display

This is adaptable to any subject. Math problems could be displayed with a question that engages students into writing. Paintings can be used instead of text to tap into the arts. It can even be done with music. Students will enjoy the silence and the movement around the room.