Session 9: Establishing a Culture of Talk


Participants observe classroom video clips and use observation tools to support their discussions about what a culture of talk might look like, as well as the role of talk in students’ understanding of science ideas. Participants also engage as learners in a classroom activity where strategies are modeled to focus on culture of talk. They reflect on the use of strategies that support a culture of talk and how the strategies might help the learner to better understand the content. A discussion is held about how the depth of a teacher’s science content knowledge can help support students coming to a normative understanding of the science ideas.

In this session, participants engage in a model FOSS® (Full Option Science System) lesson that uses argumentation strategies. (Full Option Science System, Next Generation Edition, developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science; Published and Distributed by Delta Education/School Specialty.) The Structures of Life Module is designed for grade 3.


Argumentation– Understand how a classroom culture of talk fosters an environment to support students in productive talk and argumentation.
– Build awareness of how argumentation deepens understanding of science ideas.
Learning and Teaching– Gain familiarity with a continuum of culture of talk.
– Consider the importance of science content knowledge in facilitating student discussions.

Leader Guide and Slides



Note: Although this tool is not introduced during this session, you may find previewing the Student Post-Discussion Survey valuable. Using a Student Post-Discussion Survey is one way to gauge how comforrtable students feel with the classroom discuussion culture.