Culturally Relevant Group Discussions with Google Docs and Zoom Breakout Rooms
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Colleagues,

Inspired by the activism in the worldwide George Floyd protests, I used an image from the peaceful demonstrations as a culturally relevant text for students to practice critical reading skills. In this short video, I’ll show you how I use Google docs and Zoom breakout rooms to create a collaborative communication, reading, and writing group activity centered on a culturally relevant text. I’ve found that this strategy gets all students involved and creates a useful scaffolding exercise/document for bigger papers and projects.

2 thoughts on “Culturally Relevant Group Discussions with Google Docs and Zoom Breakout Rooms
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  1. Jade, I love your use of images as a text to “read” and employ analytical skills. What a fantastic way to see the work that we do and the skills we’re building being put to work on a daily basis. In my class, we have a short piece by Angela Davis and another by Michelle Alexander–both coming from academic books. We’re going to read them, and I think/hope after our class that students will want to or feel that they can read other articles like that. But the skills we use to analyze Davis are just as prevalent and valuable in analyzing images that they see constantly in their daily lives. In fact, it might be safe to say that being able to look at a viral photo and understanding the choices, intentions, and audience expectations that the author or “sharer” of that photo is aiming for could be more important in some ways. I’d certainly like my students to be able to see a photo and recognize how/why it is employing racist tropes or using dog whistle tactics to elicit a response from a particular audience, for example. The fact that you’ve found a creative way to have the students work together on this project online is the cherry on top of a great activity! Sometimes last semester when I did the google doc/breakout room activity I would change my font to a fun color and write responses or extensions or questions below my students’ writing to see if I can “nudge” them a little further in between visiting breakout rooms. To me, this mimics the casual listening I do while strolling the room in a group activity.

  2. Jade,

    You know I’m a fan of having students analyze images. You have made yours relevant. I love this chart and I’m going to borrow it for my use this fall. I want to start with a single image like you are doing in this video and then move students to engage with a document like this using “March: Book Two” to allow students to interact with several panels. Is it possible to share that document? I want to mimic your use of questioning.

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