For this collaborative activity, I started out by writing an open-ended question at the top of each piece of chart paper - related to the main learning goals for the unit. For the activity above, I kept it as simple as, "What do I know about ... (insert topic here)". I also turn to my Question Fans (you can see all my Question Fan resources HERE) for more question and reflection ideas.
I then broke the class into groups - this time we had 4 questions, so in my class of 25, there were 6 people per group (and one with 7). Try to keep the group sizes small so that everyone in the group can write on the chart paper at the same time. I try not to have more than 6 students per group. From there, arm everyone with a marker, and tell them they have 2 minutes to write down EVERYTHING they can think of about the question or topic at the top of the paper. Remind them that this is a graffiti wall, so they can write in any direction, in any color, and to include pictures, numbers and words. Remind them that they need to be fast, too - they will only have 2 minutes at each chart paper.
Rotate groups every 2 minutes - only giving seconds in between each rotation. With 4 rotations, we completed this activity in 8 minutes. Just look at all that information in only 8 minutes.
This makes a fabulous review activity because you can cover every main concept before a summative task or test. You can see where your students need a little extra help, and where they are mastering the information. One teacher told me when she tried this, she gave each group the same color marker, so she could see from their answers on the papers, which group needed a little extra reinforcement before the summative. I love that idea!
If you complete this activity a few days before a summative, you can take the next day to do a second rotation (which is SO worth the time). Give each student a different marker, and have them assemble in the same groups, and go through the same rotations, but this time, have the FIX any misconceptions they see. I've also done this with sticky notes - give each student a few sticky notes to place over the misconceptions they see, and then together, as a whole group, we go through the sticky notes and discuss whether or not there are errors in the information, and how to fix them if there are.
Although this activity is a perfect summative review for students, it also makes a great diagnostic to see what knowledge students are bringing to a new concept or unit. I also really like it for reading comprehension activities - asking different questions following a read aloud or shared reading activity. For reading activities, it is especially important to have deep thinking, open response questions so each response is truly unique.
I have a clothesline hung in my classroom, and I hang these papers from the clothesline after they are completed. It is such a wonderful display of student learning - and the students are always amazed at all the information they were able to recall.
Question Fan Resources: