Tea Party

This strategy allows students to analyze and discuss portions of a text before they read the text in its entirety. Students are able to make predictions and think critically by actively participating with their peers to identify things like causal relationships, comparisons and contrasts, event sequencing, and building on background knowledge during text analysis.

Instructions

  1. The teacher selects key words, phrases or sentences from a text that students have not yet read. The words, phrases or sentences that were selected are put on individual slips of paper or index cards. Each student is given one of the "quotes" from the text. Several students may have the same information depending on the length of the text. 

  2. On the teacher’s signal, the students walk around the classroom, find a conversation partner, and take turns reading their information to one another. Once they have shared they move to another partner and share their information again. Sharing continues until the teacher believes that all students have heard all of the information. For more structure, the teacher may give a signal that it is time for students to move and share again. 

  3. The teacher creates pairs or small groups of students. Working together, they predict what the full text is about based on the information they have. They may also generate questions they have based on what they heard. 

  4. The teacher then brings the class back together and asks each pair or group to share a prediction. 

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. This is a synchronous activity. 

    The teacher selects key words, phrases or sentences from a text that students have not yet read. The words, phrases or sentences that were selected are written on individual slides within a Google Slide deck. Each student is assigned their own slide and corresponding quote.  Several students may have the same information depending on the length of the text. 

    Students are randomly placed into breakout rooms and take turns reading their quotes to one another. 

    Students are again randomly placed into breakout rooms to read their quotes within a new group. This continues until the teacher believes that the majority of students have heard all of the quotes. 

    The teacher then creates pairs or small groups of students. Working together, they predict what the full text is about based on the information they have heard. They may also generate questions they have based on what they heard. 

    The teacher then brings the class back together and asks each pair or group to share a prediction. 

    For individual accountability: The teacher may wish to call on non-volunteers to share a prediction. The teacher may also ask each student to do a quick write that makes a prediction and may ask students to post their prediction using a tool like Flipgrid. 

Helpful Tips

  1. This activity can be used with a variety of texts and media, including poems, articles, or whole books.

Differentiation

  1. The teacher can provide discussion starters and graphic organizers to facilitate interaction between lower proficiency students, or to challenge higher proficiency students to have more in depth discussions and record details.

Materials

  1. Index cards or slips of paper with quotes from a text that students have not yet read

  2. (Optional) Graphic organizers and discussion starters