This is an activity that can be modified in about a million different ways, so I'd love to hear about variations/adaptations that you have used in the past or develop in the future!Give a reading to students or have a class discussion. Most recently, I have used this to review a chapter in a book, to review a story, and to summarize key points in a class debate.
Choose a number of points (or events, facts, etc.) that you want each student to pull out as 'most important (disturbing, interesting, etc.)'. This should be based on the length of the discussion or text. In my example, students pull out their Top Eight most important events.
Give students this form or have them write out the list on their own. In this example, I had students highlight their top ten events and then summarize each in their own words. You can skip the highlighting if it doesn't apply.
You could end the activity there, or you can extend it into something more wonderful! My recommendation is to have students get into groups of four and share their ideas using the Team Windows structure. Then, have each group use their data (the most frequently mentioned events) to develop a group "Top 10" (or Top Eight) list.
To take it one step further, have each group write their events on a piece of poster paper and post it on a wall of your classroom. Give each group a different colored marker, and have them walk around to the other groups' posters and draw stars next to any events that their group also included on their list. This is called a "Gallery Walk", and it's another easily adaptable activity!
If you want to be REALLY crazy, you could turn the class Top Ten into Running Dictation then lead into a Listening Assessment! Click here to learn how.