In her class "France and the World: Human Rights, Race, and Revolution," Rachel Gillett had small groups work on different questions in order to stimulate discussion.Rachel first instructed the class to form groups of 2 or 3. She then assigned different groups to one of 3 or 4 questions about the object or source they are focusing on that week. The questions were specifically chosen in order to generate good discussion. While the groups talked amongst themselves, Rachel circulated in order to moderate and provide feedback. Following the small group discussions, the entire class came back together and the groups reported back on their discussions, which itself kicked off a larger discussion.
Rachel notes that this activity works best with a smaller class because it allows the instructor to get to every group and provide a bit of feedback on their discussion. This aspect of the activity is very important.