T&L activity of the week – Fish bowl

fish bowl pic

This strategy is useful for student-led AFL. It can be used as a connect activity, recapping prior learning, as a consolidate or as a method of formative assessment during the lesson. Fish bowl is particularly useful as a preparatory task before individual written work as students are given the opportunity to discuss their learning with their peers in a structured format.  

  • Split the class into two groups – one group forms the inner circle facing outwards and the other group forms the outer circle facing inwards.
  • The teacher poses a question or discussion point and the inner circle (this could be the most able students) gives a response to the student facing them in the outer circle.
  • The student in the outer circle then responds to the inner student’s answer.
  • Students in the inside circle move one place to the right and students either discuss the first question or the teacher poses another question.

This is also a great way to introduce and scaffold debate skills with younger classes, whilst making sure all students have a chance to speak.

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