Here are some helpful online resources for leading better discussions from the folks at cultofpedagogy.com. Pedagogy = "the method of teaching."
Chat Stations as a way of priming group discussion
Here's a simple approach to priming discussing that's easily adaptable for Sunday School. Produced by the creative folks at Cult of Pedagogy.com .
One of the things I like about this approach is that it reduces the anxiety of having to share in front of many people, by preparing to share in a smaller group or pair. You could have kids rotate individually too.
The Problem of "Fisheye" Discussion
(Where you think the discussion was great, but in reality, only a few people participated). From the educational site "Cult of Pedagogy."
Their interesting solutions to get kids talking:
- Give shy student a slip of paper ahead of time with the question you want them to answer.
- Be comfortable with wait times (don't move on to the next kid who's willing to talk).
- Answer questions first in smaller groups: Think, then pair up, then share up. ("Think-pair-share")
- Teach talkers the importance of listening, and listeners the importance of contributing.
Think Pair Share
A simple interactive discussion technique well-known in public teacher circles, but rarely used in Sunday School (for no good reason).
Excerpted from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/think-pair-share/