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Featured Student Engagement Strategy: Inkshedding
Ask students to take five minutes to write a response to a question, statement, current event, etc. The students then pass their papers to a classmate (alternatively, you could use Google Docs and have them send their response electronically).
The classmates read the passage, highlight the most striking parts, and write responses. They pass it and this continues for 20 minutes or so. The highlighted passages are then used as discussion starters. Teachers have found that this consistently leads to a robust conversation.