Snowballing

Enables pupils to think about their own responses to issues and consider other points of view.

This technique enables pupils to think about their own responses to issues and gradually begin a collaboration process with those around them to consider their thoughts on the same theme. It is a useful way of encouraging less vocal pupils to share ideas initially in pairs and then in larger groups. It also ensures that everyone’s views on an issue may be represented and allows a whole class consensus to be arrived at without a whole class discussion. A relevant question is asked or scenario described. 2. Pupils individually write down their thoughts, opinions and/or suggestions. 3. Pupils form pairs and compare answers. They discuss their positions and reach an agreed or compromised position on the issue, which is then recorded. 4. Pupils move into groups of four and undertake a similar process. Another agreed position is reached and noted. 5. The group of four becomes a group of eight and the process is repeated. A further agreed position is reached. 6. As the groups get bigger it will be necessary to elect a spokesperson/facilitator, time-keeper, resource manager, scribe, etc. 7. A fi nal whole-class position is then discussed and justifi ed. 8. The view of any pupil who objects strongly to the agreed position could be recorded if the individual feels that their opinion is not adequately represented. 9. A debrief afterwards might explore not only knowledge and understanding, but also the process of the activity: how did pupils come to a decision? How was compromise reached? What skills were they using?

Choose a scenario which is relevant to the current class subject, or which pupils are the most familiar with.

A question is posed or scenario described. Pupils individually write down their thoughts then compare with their partner, discussing positions which must result in a comprimise.