This activity allows the teacher to gather the representations of a group in order to build a common definition of a concept before addressing or building content.
The principle is to set up a framework to facilitate negotiation around the definition exercise.
The teacher displays the notion, the concept, of the intervention and asks everyone to list, in writing and for themselves, the 6 words that this concept/this notion evokes in them. The teacher leaves 2 minutes for everyone to create their list.
Then he asks everyone to turn to their neighbour and create a single list of 6 words with them from their two lists. Again in 2 minutes.
Then he asks the pairs to approach another pair to create a common list from their two lists. This time in 3 minutes.
Depending on the size of the group, the same procedure can be used once more, so that there is one list for every eight people. This step will also take 3 minutes.
The idea is to have 2 or 3 groups, each with a list of 6 words, negotiated during the "meetings".
From these lists, each of the 2 or 3 groups negotiate to devise their own sentence containing each of the 6 words on their own list.
The sentences are displayed to the large group who decide which one best fits the definition that the whole group will adopt.
The teacher at this stage may act as a moderator, and if necessary may arbitrate in favour of one of the definitions, or none at all, or at worst a composite definition made from the definitions of the sub-groups.
More detailed conditions:
Group size: Small Group, Medium Group
Equipment needed: Little equipement (Pieces of Papers)
When: In Classroom
Work by: Individual, small groups, Full group
In order to: Approach a content, work in groups, observe acquisition
Lenght: 20 min
Keywords: Activity, Negotiation, Definition