Elevator Story Speed Dating

Problem Statements/Argument
Receive Feedback
Time: 40-50 minutes

In this exercise, students share "elevator stories" (short presentations of their problem and argument) and receive feedback. This exercise works best in advance of a draft, when they're still developing and refining their questions.

Have students arrange their desks or chairs in facing pairs. Set a countdown timer for four to eight minutes, depending on how long you want them to spend in each pair. In each pair, students take turns sharing their elevator stories. They can then question one another about details and provide their own reactions. When the timer goes off, the students facing one way rotate one position around the room and do it again. Continue until your students have gone through your desired number of rounds. This exercise is most effective when students present their ideas many times, refining their thinking with each round, so it will likely take whole class period.

By the end, students will have presented their elevator stories enough times in different ways and gotten such different feedback that they should be well on their way to developing their problem statement and argument in a paper.

(This exercise was adapted from Andrew Purvis.)