Discussion Skills Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses numerous mini-activities, a main activity, and a quiz to teach and let your students practice the basic elements of having a proper discussion.

Learning Objectives

After your students have engaged in this lesson plan's discussion, quiz, and activity, they will be able to:

  • Describe ways to positively contribute to a discussion
  • Demonstrate active listening skills
  • Develop original thoughts to contribute to a discussion
  • Generate appropriate questions to ask during a discussion to demonstrate listening and comprehension


45-90 minutes without the main activity


    • Excerpts of any text of your choosing

Curriculum Standards


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.


Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.


Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)


Warm Up Activity

  • Ask your students:
    • What are some of the ways by which you can contribute to having a good discussion about any topic?
  • Activity:
    • Play a video of a contentious political debate
    • Have your students identify what they believe went wrong with respect to having a good discussion during that debate


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