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“Accountable talk” makes discussions productive

K-Kids club meetings are a great place for elementary school students to lead and participate in group discussions. Advisors can encourage meaningful discussions by introducing “accountable talk.” This is a way of sharing ideas and opinions that also requires members to listen fully and to follow up their own thoughts with reasons and clarification.

Here are a few ways to introduce accountable talk:
  • Define it. Explain that accountable talk is a way of speaking and responding to others in a respectful and thought-provoking way.
  • Offer examples. Give each member this handout and explain that they can use it as a starting point for responding to a question or sharing an idea.
  • Practice. Pose an easy question to the club (e.g., what is the best holiday and why? Or, what’s a hobby of yours?) and have members respond by practicing this new format.
  • Use it. Encourage members, especially club officers, to use accountable talk at every meeting and club discussion. Review the handout before every discussion and remind everyone to use it.
Advisors will know that accountable talk has been successful when members start using the language without being prompted or reminded.
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