Brief Response to Challenge


The Brief Response to Challenge strategy gives students the opportunity to share problems or dilemmas and to help each other problem-solve. Students practice their listening skills by paraphrasing back to the presenter.  Students also practice creating and asking good questions as they help each other in solving the challenge.

Adolescent Literacy Model- Brief Response to Challenge


  1. Direct students to identify a challenge they are having – a problem or unanswered question about the content and assign them to groups of 3 or 4. Select one person to present his/her challenge or questions to the group.  
  2. Explain that each student, one at a time, will take a turn at helping the presenter think through the problem by paraphrasing and then posing clarifying and probing questions.
  3. Allow the presenter a chance to summarize what they heard and respond to questions before the next student begins paraphrasing and questioning.
  4. Repeat the process with each student until all have gotten the opportunity to share their challenge/problem.
  5. Share out any unsolved problems or unanswered questions  with the whole group for the benefit of collective problem-solving.
  6. Debrief the process.



  • What was the most difficult part of this experience?
  • What does this question make you think about?
  • What different perspective might you be able to take?
    • Use a timer (5-7 minutes) per round of presenting and then paraphrasing and questioning.  This helps students to stay focused on the challenge being presented and allows time for all to participate.
    • Create a list of question starters for students to use until they can create questions on their own.
    • Discuss that the goal is to paraphrase and question in order to help the presenter determine his/her own answers.  The goal is not to provide examples of previous experiences or solutions.
    • Give students opportunities to practice paraphrasing before using this strategy.  
    • Using classroom Norms will help students be successful as they work collaboratively through this process.



    Students share questions they have about a solution they are designing to address a problem or a model they are developing to explain a phenomenon.


     Students present a position from an historic event.


    Students explain how they worked the next step in a formula or an equation.



    Students present the challenges they are having in building a storage unit according to specifications and attempt to help each other find solutions.


    School Reform Initiative. Consultancy Protocol: Framing Consultancy Dilemmas. Retrieved May 1, 2022 from