Class Discussion Rubric Ideas for Teachers

Instructor: Derek Hughes
Class discussions are an important part of any classroom experience. This lesson will provide some ideas for creating a rubric to hold students accountable for their participation in discussions.

What is a Class Discussion?

When teaching, it is important to occasionally engage your students in a class discussion. These are conversations that involve every student in the class and require them to use their knowledge of a topic to participate thoughtfully. To lead a successful class discussion, it is important that students clearly understand your expectations. This is where a rubric comes in handy.

In this lesson, we will be creating a rubric for a class discussion about the Dr. Seuss book 'Green Eggs and Ham'. You can adjust the rubric to fit many age groups and subject areas. The categories suggested in this lesson might need to be changed to better suit your expectations for a class discussion. We will be creating a 4-point rubric.

Speaking

Arguably the most important aspect of a class discussion is how clearly, loudly, and concisely students are able to talk to the whole class. Therefore, the first category of our rubric is going to be titled 'Speaking'. This category will set expectations for how students should express themselves during a class discussion.

The 'speaking' category will probably rarely change from topic to topic. To earn a 4, students must project their voices appropriately and appear confident in what they are saying. They must also be concise or able to convey their ideas clearly in a small amount of time. Students who do not meet all of these expectations will earn a lower score.

In our 'Green Eggs and Ham' discussion, students might speak about topics like: their memories of reading this book, the greater meanings of the book, using limited vocabulary to write a book, the book's adaptations, the book's rankings, etc. If students aren't sure what to talk about next, you can prompt them. How does the book demonstrate close-mindedness/open-mindedness, persistence, humility, etc?

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