Cartoon drawing of 4 students discussing a document.

“If” conversations: Slide presentation and writing activity

Jump start student discussions with this collaboration project!

Want students to work together? These “if” conversation starters are a fun way to jump start conversations before transitioning to a writing activity. Pair students (2 or 3 in a group) and share a slide presentation (one “If” question per slide) and assign a slide number to each one group. Encourage the students to discuss the question (set a time limit) then create a slide with their short answer. Students can be creative and add colors, designs, etc. to their slide.

This activity can also be done as a short answer written assignment by an individual student.

If Questions

Depending on the grade, the If questions can be simple or more complex. Ideally, ask questions that may have social implications. The examples below cover a range of simple issues and more complex issues. Try to include questions that relate to things recently studied in class. These questions can be tailored to specific events in history, current news,or events studied in social studies courses.

What would you do if . . .

The writing goals can vary! If creating a slide presentation, the writing will be bullet points or a simple sentence for younger students. If writing a short answer (paragraph style), create a shared Google Doc. Students can add their short answer into the Google Doc.

Keep in mind the true goals of the activity – there can be multiple goals. Team work and collaboration, social implications of the questions, expanding on history/social studies events, writing skills, and of course, tech skills!


by Diane Brauner

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