Image by Nationaal Archief via FlickrTwo-Minute Discussions allows students to activate pre-existing knowledge on a
topic or theme. The quick conversations get the class focused on the topic, thereby
improving receptivity and comprehension of the material. This activity works
especially well as a Warm Up.
Step One: The teacher prepares five questions on a specific topic before the lesson. The
questions should allow quick conversations to ensue between partners, so questions that
are easy to understand and perhaps don't require deep, careful analysis work best.
Remember: Students need to be able to read the question and immediately jump into a
Step Two: Students get into pairs for the discussion. The teacher should announce the
topic, again as a step to prepare and focus students, as well as to activate pre-existing
Step Three: The teacher reads aloud the first question. Students then answer the question
in pairs, speaking continuously for two minutes. There should not be a lull in the
conversation, nor should students spend much time forming answers. Two minutes goes
very, very quickly!
Step Four: The teacher says, "Stop!" He then reads a second question, and students begin
their conversations anew.
Step Five: After two minutes, the teacher again stops the students and reads the third
question. This continues until all five questions have been read aloud and discussed.