We recognize that a good discussion is a mix of planned and spontaneous conversation.
This page is designed to help you to plan the discussion without prescribing too rigidly. Your agenda should have the 5 sections listed below. Feel free to copy and paste the headings and any helpful information into your page. Some overlap between sections is fine.

1. Student Facilitator(s): This person's role will be to read the agenda from his or her computer to direct the conversation. Someone should volunteer or nominate a peer(s). Communicate with each other! Please list all the group members on your wiki page as well.

2. Protocols: Protocols are helpful to give everyone in the group the time and chance to speak. Use at least two protocols and customize them to fit your discussion

3. Discussion Questions:

What are the issues and ideas within this novel you’d like to discuss with each other? Be sure to consider various parts of the text (beginning, middle and end). Collaboratively create 15-25 open-ended questions that promote discussion and organize them logically. You can use them within a protocol or on their own.
  • Personal Response Questions -- These questions might address your personal reactions to the style and content of the novel and ask group members to share and compare.
  • Open-ended, analytical questions -- These promote multiple perspectives and don’t yield a single answer. They address the WHY and HOW.
  • Significant passage questions -- Observe, as you would in close reading, the qualities of the text and how the passage brings meaning to the novel overall.

4. Culture & Context

We recognize that we're reading books that take place in different cultures than ours. What do you need to know about this culture that would give you deeper insight to the story? Use a Historical/Biographical approach and pose questions. The bullets below give you some places to start. Each group member should pose at least one question, and each group member should research a resource and post his or her findings that respond to the question. Post a resource for someone else's question. Label your questions and posts so we can see that everyone contributed to both steps.

    • history and political conflict of the nation depending on the time it takes place: historical articles or current news
    • cultural or religious traditions
    • biographical information about the author
    • articles of literary criticism (using Marvel)
    • author information -- interviews, obituaries, statements
    • book reviews
    • research allusions and cultural references

5. Pre-Discussion Processing
The purpose of this section is to sort out the basic fiction elements in the novel. We've put it at the bottom of your agenda, but it is the first place you'll start to work. This is a good way to check your understanding of the novel, and the group can use this information as a reference during the discussion. You can use your collective knowledge to answer these questions and build a foundation for your discussion so the conversation can focus on higher level issues.

Post on the wiki prior to discussion and include textual references wherever necessary
  • Characters - List a significant detail for each character
  • Setting - Locations and time periods
  • Important plot events - Choose at least 3 significant plot elements and explain their importance
  • Conflicts - Identify and elaborate on the conflicts that drive the plot
  • Narration (point of view) - Describe how the telling impacts the story
  • Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each