Rank & Reason Tip #1 – Rank, Justify, Discuss

unnamed-1The Power of the Rank & Reason Discussion Tool

The power of a great academic discussion in our classrooms can be such an exciting inspiration when students are passionate, prepared, and justify their thinking with evidence. WOW! These are the moments that remind us why we love teaching.

We’re on a mission to help classroom teachers develop deeper academic discussions and critical thinking with our Rank & Reason discussion tool. To that end, you’ll find Rank & Reason discussions embedded in our Projects and Activities and also as just stand-alone short lessons.

When Rank & Reason academic discussions lead with a thought-provoking question – one with no right answer – we do also want to provide you with a writing prompt or a follow-up activity.   Be sure to look for them.

Getting Started with Rank & Reason 

  • Assign the lesson to the class and have them work side by side with a partner.
  • Best practice tip: Have students use one shared device and project the Rank and Reason challenge for all to see.
  • Ask students to discuss and agree on ranking the list based on the criteria in the lesson.
  • A great strategy to start is to ask them to choose the top 1-2 and bottom 1-2 first. The center of the ranking will generate the richest discussion as items to rank may be more similar.
  • When ranking is complete: ask students to use the speech bubbles to justify their ranking, agreeing as a partnership.
  • Students then submit their results and can view the comparison of their ranking with the ranking of their classmates.
  • Continue your discussion as a class and ask partners who may not agree with the class to share their justifications – or simply share their speech bubble.  
  • What to expect:
      • Rankings in the middle of a list may be similar, but not exact.
      • A good evaluative strategy would be to divide the list in half and ask the class if we agree on the top half, and on then on the bottom half.

Check out more Rank & Reasons on NextLesson!

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