Welcome to the Sticky Note Museum
Welcome to the Sticky Note Museum
Editor's Note: We love this Sticky Note Museum activity from 7th-grade ELA teacher Jennifer Stahl—and not just because it involves a microphone! Jennifer gets her students up and out of their chairs by having them display their answers to Scope's critical-thinking questions on sticky notes around the classroom. Then students use a microphone to present their answers and respond to their classmates. Try this out in your classroom, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!
This activity is always a popular one with my students because it's fun and a little different, and it gives them an opportunity to shine. Each student presents his or her response to a critical-thinking question using a microphone, then passes the mic to another student. My students really enjoy the freedom of running the discussion on their own. I also notice that when students use the mic, they think more carefully about their responses and rest of the class listens more closely and is very engaged. For the activity below, I used the Scope short fiction "Dear Future" from the September 2014 issue of the magazine, but any long Scope text will work just as well.
What You'll Need:
- any Scope text, such as this one
- any of Scope's Critical-Thinking Questions, such as these
- poster board
- different colored sticky notes
critical thinking, speaking and listening
One class period (60 minutes)
NOTE: Students are very familiar with the text by the time we do this activity because we have read and discussed the text beforehand.
Step 1: Post the questions.
- Write out each critical-thinking question at the top of a separate sheet of poster board.
- Hang the poster boards on a wall where students can easily access them.
Step 2: Students answer the questions.
- Hand out the sticky notes.
- Have students write the answer to each critical-thinking question on a separate sticky note.
- I like to have a wide variety of sticky note colors on hand so that students can easily distinguish their answers later.
Here's how one student answered the first question:
Step 3: Students post their answers.
- Have students place their answers under the appropriate question on the poster boards. (I especially love this part of the activity because it gets kids out of their seats and walking around.)
- Once all students have posted all of their answers, you should have a colorful wall full of sticky notes!
Step 4: Students lead a "pass the mic" discussion.
- Kick off the discussion by calling on a student to answer the first question.
- Let students know that after giving their answer, they will call on and pass the mic to the next person.
- I like to gather the students near the wall of sticky notes so students can refer to their answers during the discussion if needed.
- Each student will respond to the previous student's answer by saying "I agree
because . . . " or "I disagree because . . . "
- I like to hang up a poster (pictured below) with sentence starters and questions to help students during the discussion.
- I interject during the discussion only to keep students on track and to get them to expand their answers. For example, I sometimes ask: "Well, why does that matter?" Or: "Can anyone give text evidence for so-and-so's claim?" But they run show!
Jennifer Stahl is a 7th-grade ELA teacher at Forrestdale School in Rumson, New Jersey.