Grand Conversation Strategy
Grand Conversation Strategy
Teaching Resources
Categories Educator Resources 

Grand Conversation
A Grand Conversation is a student-led conversation that takes place after the entire class has read a section of a book, an entire book, a poem, or other reading material. For young children, the teacher can read the book aloud. Students lead discussions with their peers as they share thoughtful responses on the book while the teacher acts as facilitator. As facilitator, the teacher ensures that each student speaks at least once by responding to a peer’s comment, making a comment or asking a question. Students learn that constructing meaning from books comes from what they bring to the story, their background experiences, as well as from the knowledge and experiences shared by their peers.


• Before having students participate in a Grand Conversation, model and practice ways in which students respond to one another’s ideas in a positive, nonjudgmental fashion.

• Students can be taught sentence frames to use in Grand Conversations.
◊ I agree (disagree) with what you said because _______ .
◊ When you said ___, it made me think about _______ .
◊ I first thought ____ , but now I think ______ .
• Choose a story/poem/selection and instruct students to complete it prior to the Grand Conversation.
• Encourage them to identify content that affects them or causes them to question some aspect of what they have read.
• Have students sit in a circle facing one another.
• Make sure students have their books and topics/questions for discussion.
• Ask, “Who would like to begin the conversation?” or “What do you think about ______?”
• Do not look for single correct answers, but responses that challenge students’ thinking.
• When closing the conversation, analyze the patterns that emerged and then summarize them. Share with students the insights they have gained from their conversation.

An excellent overview of the strategy, benefits to a wide variety of learners, and ways to implement it in the classroom: