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THINK LITERACY: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Grades 7-12

Small Group Discussions: Place Mat

Introduction to Marketing, Grade 11 (BMI3C): Trends in Marketing (Issues and Concerns)

Divide the chart paper into sections.

Gather their thoughts about the chosen question or topic and write silently in their own area of the paper, respecting the space and silence of all members of the group.

What teachers do


  • Divide students in groups of 4.

  • Step 1: Use Teacher Resource, Place Mat Template, as a guide. Explain Place Mat technique to students either on the chalkboard or using an overhead.

  • Step 2: Make an overhead of the second Teacher Resource, Place Mat Example, (take the possible response in the center square out) and ask the students to complete the center.

  • Select a question or topic for students to explore using “Place Mat.” Examples include:

    • -

      What are current consumer concerns in marketing?

    • -

      Think about questions you would ask on a survey to determine “Why Students Smoke”.

  • Distribute chart paper to each group.

  • Ask the students to divide the chart paper into sections equal to the number of students in the group, leaving a circle or square in the centre of the chart. Note: this middle section can be omitted, depending on the learning task involved.


  • Direct each group member to think about, and then write silently about the question or topic in his or her personal area of the chart paper for a determined amount of time.

What students do

  • Ask for clarification of the model.

  • Contribute to the class discussion on the

Place Mat Example.


  • Give a signal for students in each group to discuss their ideas and experiences and find common elements or ideas.

  • Have students post the charts to share their group’s thinking with the class.

  • In a large group discussion, compare all groups’ results with how the topic is presented in the classroom textbook or other classroom reading. Identify gaps in both. Record the differences on a separate sheet of chart paper.

Take turns sharing ideas with the group. Engage in discussion with all group members Record common ideas in the centre of the placemat (when directed by the teacher). Use oral skills, such as active listening, requesting clarification, and coming to consensus. Compare results of groups to information in another source (i.e., textbook or other reading) to identify gaps. Contribute to class discussion to create a list of differences between class discussion ideas and ideas from another source.




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