Say something: A learner-led discussion strategy

Say Something: A learner-led discussion strategy

Discussion, engagement, review.


Say Something is great to use as a warm-up, to help students process and review a complex topic, or to practice the skill of building a conversation. 

Difficulty: 2/5


Prep: 5+ minutes 

Activity: Variable


Class of learners 

Core Competency Connection

Sketch of a dragonfly on a green gradient background
Sketch of three wolves on a grey gradient background





The Process

1. The outcome



  • Choose an outcome that learners are familiar with and review what they know before building on the concept, or 


  • Introduce a new outcome to understand learners current level of knowledge and gauge what questions might arise surrounding the topic/concept. 

2. Facilitation

Learners may stand in a circle or stay where they are seateddecide how the discussion will be facilitated. Set rules regarding if/when learners or the instructor can intervene during the activity. 

3. Say something

Everyone must “say something” new about the topic/concept being discussed. Each learner must briefly summarize the conversation/comment that came prior to their comment before building the conversation, either playing devil’s advocate, or continuing with a new idea.

4. Moderate

As an instructor, you must be ready and willing to jump in and “flag” a comment as a repeat. You also may have to help learners build a conversation at first by showing excitement, modelling effective “building” and “summarizing” comments, and asking questions. You can even give this responsibility over to a learner if a comment repeats, rather than extends the conversation.

5. Summary

To finish off the discussion, learners can orally share a brief summary with their neighbour, a larger class summary can be conducted, or learners can create an exit slip with two things they know/learned about the topic and one question that has arisen from the discussion to help guide your future teaching.

Tips & Tricks

Summarizing reinforces the idea that one’s voice in a discussion does not exist in isolation and is a part of a larger conversation. This discussion skill also challenges learners to think of different perspectives and explore different angles for discussion and analysis since they cannot repeat something that has already been said. 


Lindsay Ann Learning. (n.d.) 10 student led discussion strategies for whole class discussion. 

LXD Staff

Learning Experience Designer

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