Using Productive Talk Moves

Encourage individual students to share, expand, and clarify their own thinking:

1. Say More:

“Can you say more about that?” “What do you mean by that?” “Can you give an example?”

2. Verifying and Clarifying by Revoicing:

“So, let me see if I’ve got what you’re saying. Are you saying...?” (always leaving space for the original student to agree or disagree and say more.)

3. Wait Time:

“Take your time; we’ll wait.”

Encourage students to listen carefully to one another:

4. Who Can Repeat?

“Who can repeat what Javon just said or put it into their own words?”

5. Explaining What Someone Else Means:

“Who can explain what Aisha means when she says that?”

Press for deeper reasoning:

6. Asking for Evidence or Reasoning:

“Why do you think that?” “What’s your evidence?”

“How did you arrive at that conclusion?” “How does your evidence relate to your claim?”

7. Challenge or Counterexample:

“Does it always work that way?” “How does that idea square with Sonia’s example?” “That’s a good question. What do you think?”

Press students to apply their own reasoning to that of others:

8. Add On:

“Who can add onto the idea that Jamal is building?”

9. Agree/Disagree and Why?:

“Do you agree/disagree? (And why?)” “Are you saying the same thing as Jeyla or something different, and if different, how is it different?”


For more on Talk Moves, visit the Inquiry Project, a partnership of TERC and Tufts University.

Strategic Education Research Partnership

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The Reading to Learn in Science Team



Development of Reading to Learn in Science was led by Jonathan Osborne (Stanford University) through a SERP collaboration. Support for Reading to Learn in Science was provided by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through grant number R305F100026. The information provided does not represent views of the funders.

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Reading to Learn in Science