Hot Seat

A Speaking and Listening Strategy

What are they?

Hot seats are a literacy strategy in which a student takes on the persona of someone from a story or biography. They sit at the front of the class and must respond to classmates' questions. They stay in character while they answer the questions. This requires them to think on their feet and make inferences from the text.

How do I do them?

  1. Assign a student a character that they have to learn everything about.
  2. Allow the students time and materials to create a costume or artifact for their character.
  3. The student prepares opening remarks where he shares a little about himself (from the character's POV).
  4. The student sits on the hot seat and introduces himself.
  5. Classmates ask questions.
  6. The student in the hot seat selects another student to summarize the conversation.

Why should I do this?

Standards met:

SL.4.1a – Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

SL.4.1b – Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

SL.4.1c – Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments t
hat contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
SL.4.1d – Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.


Skills Gained:

  • Apart from the standards, students are gaining the ability to interact with the text in a way that will make them inquisitive, thoughtful readers that question how characters feel and make inferences.


  • Students are required to do a close reading of the text in order to unlock key details about a character, which helps then to be better readers overall.


  • It is a fun way for students to learn how to prepare for a discussion of a book (high school/college readiness).


  • On top of this, students are gaining the ability to show empathy and see issues from multiple perspective.
Hotseating: Of Mice and Men

How would you apply this strategy to "Out of my Mind"?

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