Posted by Joan on .
Some students in my class are very reluctant to speak up in class discussion. What ways could I make them talk but not in an imitidating way? What activities could I do to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate in a discussion topic?

Participation 
bobpursley,
1. Videotape yourself, then review the tape with several EXPERIENCED teachers to make certain you are not the one doing the intimidating.
2. Small groups are a nice way to get kids to talk.
I don't have a clue what age these students are, so specifics I can't address. If you reveal the age of the students, perhaps we can add more. The two listed points will help you get started. 
Participation 
SraJMcGin,
Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. In addition to the great suggestions above, here are somethings to read that you might be interested in: (Giving participation points is another way to encourage students to participate.)
1. http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/participation.html
2. (on classroom structure, PDF file to download):
www.cte.cornell.edu/campus/teach/faculty/Materials/Cl...
3. (nice "chart"): http://learningandteaching.dal.ca/structures.html
4. (PDF):
www.justice.eku.edu/odems/docs/encourageStudentPartic...
NOTE: Sometimes a "competition" is fun for the students: depending upon the seating arrangement, 1/2 the class against the other 1/2, row(s) against row(s), boys against girls, etc. The makeup of each class would determine what would work best.
Sra