Have you used the Fortune Cookie study team and teaching strategy yet? Often teachers struggle with exactly how to use this STTS or what to write on the fortune cookie strips. Here are some ideas for you to try. First let’s review the strategy.
A Fortune Cookie
A Fortune Cookie can be useful at the end of a Chapter when students want to share ideas and consolidate their understanding. Develop a list of five or six sentence starters to use as “fortunes” centered around the chapter topics, general ideas, or norms or strategies that need to be reviewed.
The first person draws a fortune, reads it aloud and then finishes the sentence starter, answers the question and/or makes one statement about the topic. After making his/her one statement, the next person rereads the statement and makes one statement or makes one comment about what the first person said, continuing the fortune cookie process.
A variation of this activity is to have a whole team discussion after each person has had his/her chance to speak. If you use this option you may need to place a time limit on this open discussion. (You can tell how the discussion is going as you circulate and adjust the time as needed.)
You should model the Fortune Cookie process the first time you use it. A good way to do this is with another strategy called a Fishbowl. One team will model the process while others gather around to watch. You may want to appoint a timekeeper and limit the “open” discussion to one minute. A Fishbowl also provides a good opportunity to model appropriate behavior in dealing with teams as you circulate and respond accordingly.
Optional: For each of the “fortunes” of this activity, have posters with each scenario/fortune written across the top already made. Have each team quickly put their best response/comment on a sticky note to be placed on the poster. If you choose to use the posters, remember that the focus of the Fortune Cookie activity is the discussion, so do not mention the posters ahead of time, nor make them a major part of the activity. Simply use the posters to wrap up the discussion and activity.
Here is a list of Fortune Cookie topics one teacher used about some “ways to become a successful student.”