Academic Discussions: Analyzing Complex Texts

Grades 6-8 / ELA / ELL

Common Core State Standards


English Language Arts


Speaking and Listening Standards 6-€“12


6th Grade


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others'€™ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c. Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.

d. Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.7 MB)

Lesson Objective

Work in small groups to discuss a text


8 minutes

Questions to Consider

  • How does Ms. Groves support English Language Learners?
  • What are the benefits of using the "Talking Rocks" strategy?
  • How do students use talk moves in their discussions?

Watch all the videos in this series:
Engaging ELLs in Academic Conversations

Why are Academic Discussions So Important for our ELLs?

Supporting Materials

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  • Academic Discussions: Analyzing Complex Texts Transcript

  • Student Work.PDF

  • Student Work 1.PDF

  • Student Work 2.PDF

  • Output versus Interaction.PDF

  • Academic Discussion Continuum of Teacher Practice - OUSD.PDF

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