Silent Conversing

As the title implies, silent conversing involves students interacting with each other through only written text.  If for whatever reason, the teacher desires to create a discussion while keeping noise control entirely at zero, this is one such alternative.  Silent conversing itself works best when students have had time to already digest the topic at hand.  This technique, unlike the many discussed before it, serves as more of a reflection than a pre-assessment or primer.

The process is as follows: the teacher will provide one (or more) passages based on the topic previously discussed.  The first student will write a response to it on the page, and pass it to the next student, who will write another response, and direct it at either the initial passage or the response of the first person with an arrow.  This cycle will continue for as long as the teacher deems it necessary.  The following are a pair of possible passages taken from textbooks.

Textbook A

Upset by the fast and astonishing growth of the power of the Republic, the

American invaders hastened the preparation of an aggressive war in order to

destroy it in its infancy….The American imperialists furiously carried out the war

project in 1950….The American invaders who had been preparing the war for a

long time, alongside their puppets, finally initiated the war on June 25th of the

39th year of the Juche calendar. That dawn, the enemies unexpectedly attacked

the North half of the Republic, and the war clouds hung over the once peaceful

country, accompanied by the echoing roar of cannons.

Having passed the 38th parallel, the enemies crawled deeper and deeper into the

North half of the Republic…the invading forces of the enemies had to be

eliminated and the threatened fate of our country and our people had to be

saved.

Textbook B

When the overthrow of the South Korean government through social confusion

became too difficult, the North Korean communists switched to a stick-and-carrot

strategy: seeming to offer peaceful negotiations, they were instead analyzing the

right moment of attack and preparing themselves for it.

The North Korean communists prepared themselves for war. Kim Il-sung

secretly visited the Soviet Union and was promised the alliance of the Soviets

and China in case of war. Finally, at dawn on June 25th, 1950 the North began

their southward aggression along the 38th parallel. Taken by surprise at these

unexpected attacks, the army of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) fought

courageously to defend the liberty of the country….The armed provocation of the

North Korean communists brought the UN Security Council around the table. A

decree denounced the North Korean military action as illegal and as a threat to

peace, and a decision was made to help the South. The UN army constituted the

armies of 16 countries—among them, the United States, Great Britain and

France—joined the South Korean forces in the battle against the North.

This activity works best in groups I’ve discovered so that students are not either overwhelmed by too many different passages floating around, or bored due to the time spent waiting for the one or two passage sheets to get to them.

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