Sample Lesson Plan for Leading a Discussion Group

Below is a sample lesson plan that walks you through how to lead a discussion group with your class.  

Set up  

Set the tone and foundation for the survey by using the following language or something similar: “Today I want to try to give us an opportunity to create some space to reflect on your law school experience to this point.  My goal here is to give you a chance to reconnect with yourself (Tune into ourselves—when people are out of touch with themselves, others, and our environment, we can get into problems.).” 


After providing the introduction, move on to the survey questions.  We found that using PollEverywhere worked well since it allows for anonymous responses and students can see the results in real time.  Below are sample questions you can use to facilitate the discussion:  

1. On a scale of 1-5, how much stress are you feeling these days? 

2. In this unusual time, what do you struggle with the most? Please list the words that come to mind.   

3. What do you find most stressful about attending law school virtually and during the pandemic? Please answer in a few sentences.  

4. What do you find to be positive or to be going well in this situation? List several words that come to mind.

5. What has been the most helpful to you during our pandemic law program. Please respond in a few sentences.  

Discussion question--Place students into pairs and send them to discussion groups (this can be in breakout rooms if you are online or into in-person groups) for 3 minutes to discuss the question below.  Each share for 1 minute while the other listens with no feedback—active listening.  Once the time is up, bring everyone back together and ask the pairs to share a little bit about what their group discussed and about the process of active listening. (One dyad: “We will bond because of this experience and feel stronger.”) 

6.  If you think we can gain something from this experience, what would it be?  

Follow-up writing—Give students 5 minutes to answer the question below. You can have them add their responses in the poll or they can email you.  Once you gather the responses, compile them into a single document without student names and send it to students or share some of the common concerns in real time.  

7. What advice would you give to a friend thinking about going to law school in these circumstances?