Turning Tables

Submitted by aniko.makkai-k… on

This activity allows the teacher to collect students' opinions on several aspects of the same issue simultaneously, before addressing or building on the content.

The principle is to set up a framework that allows free expression of an audience while channelling and facilitating it. 

The "Turning Tables" modality is not suitable for a group of more than 18 people.

  • Group size: Small Group, Medium Group, 
  • Equipment needed: Flipchart sheet
  • When: In Classroom
  • Work by: Individual, Small Groups
  • In order to: Approach a content, work in groups, Observe representations
  • Lenght: ≤ 60 min (20-30 min)
  • Keywords: Activity, Free Speaking, Physical Displacement, Problematic


Example : 

The teacher prepares 3 flipcharts sheets with, on each one, a different sentence that cannot be answered by yes or no and that approaches the same issue from 3 angles. For example, on an issue related to learning methods, the 3 sentences could be "For me, a successful day includes...", "For me, the elements necessary for learning are..." and "For me, what I remember best after a lesson is...". The sentences are written in such a way that the main part of the flipchart is available for students' contributions. 

The teacher arranges the 3 flipcharts sheets on 3 separate tables in the session area. The teacher explains the instructions for the activity and then divides the group of students into 3 sub-groups and assigns them a table. 

When the signal is given, the pupils have between 5 and 7 minutes (depending on the size of the subgroups) to make their contributions. At the end of this time, the groups rotate in one direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise) and are all confronted with a new flipchart on which the previous group has already worked. Each group then makes a contribution without repeating or deleting any contribution already made, although a comment may be added to a contribution. After 5 to 7 minutes, a final rotation takes place so that each group has had a chance to work on each question. 

Afterwards, the teacher takes the sheets again, highlights the convergences and/or divergences as well as the relevant elements for the continuation of his intervention.