This is the Snowball Discussion, a plan that helps kids to learn how to debate and argue respectively with others.
Students begin in pairs talking about a specific topic. Once every student has had a chance to share their ideas, the pair joins another pair. This continues until all students in the class in in a big group.This continues until the class as a whole is involved in a group discussion about the topic.
A variation of this could include implementing a silent form of communications for students who are uncomfortable with taking their ideas public with the class. Maybe allow for a written submission of ideas
Links to Lesson Plans
Pyramid discussions are useful for practicing a range of skills that your students would benefit from mastering, This list of skills includes learning how to respectfully agreeing and disagree with peers ideas, negotiating, summarizing, and going public with their argument. Students also learn from each other which promotes a classroom community.
This type of discussion also gradually turns into a full class discussion. By doing this, students can also learn how to have and be a part of those larger group conversations. This is especially helpful for students who may be uncomfortable talking in/contributing to larger groups. -Will S.
This discussion method can cause some children to have to step outside their comfort zone and share their ideas publicly with the class. You may need to find an alternative way for students to share their ideas for those who are unwilling to share publicly. This will make sure you account for all ideas in the classroom.