The Empath, the Sweetheart, and the Skeptic

The Empath, the Sweetheart, and the Skeptic

This innovative modification of a peer response activity asks students to pitch their thesis statements to each other in small groups, with respondents playing the roles of an active listener (empath), a "Sweetheart" (someone who really loves the thesis statement), and then the Skeptic (someone critical of the thesis statement).  The activity will help students both support and challenge their peers’ arguments, while also cultivating a sense of the importance of audience, listening, and responding among members of the group.

Activity title: The Empath, the Sweetheart, and the Skeptic

Author(s): Selby Schwartz (original) and Donna Hunter (added an Empath to the original)

Course: PWR 2

Activity length and schedule: 35-45 minutes

Activity goals: The intention is for students to feel heard to their satisfaction by the person to whom they are speaking and to receive different perspectives on their thesis statement.

Activity details: See the full activity handout.  This activity works well both in person and online.