Hot seating is a dramatic exercise that gives students a chance to respond in role. The technique can be explored in a variety of ways but the goal is fundamentally the same. Have the students embody characters to explore a topic or text further. The hot seat is given to a student who will take on the challenger of responding to a series of questions posed by peers, the teacher or a combination thereof. As the student responds they try their best to stay true to the role by dramatizing the information they have obtained either through the text or from other areas of study in relation to their character.
Hot seating is a great way to informally assess students comprehension of the text or topic. By listening to not only the answers coming from the student in role but by also having other students ask questions in role you can gain insight to the contextual understanding of many students as well as areas where they are struggling or may have missed the concepts presented. The other advantage to hot seating is that it really allows students to embody characters from the text or topic you are dealing with. Hot seating forces student to think beyond the text and start to internalize some of the larger ideas and concepts that the text addresses in order to respond to questions in a way that stays true to character and accurate to the role.
- Students can serve as the brain for the person on the hot seat (think phone a friend from Who Wants to be a Millionaire)
- Other students can serve as internal voices for the hot seating student (angel/devil on their shoulder, inner monologue, true self, etc.)
- Students can ask questions of the hot seater in or out of roles themselves
- The hot seater can be on trial or under investigation