Last October I received an email from a professor asking me how to engage students who will not speak, ask questions or participate in any way. I responded with suggestions here.
I recently heard back from her:
Happy New Year...I used all your suggestions and......they talked! The small group approach worked especially well. I guess "safety in numbers!"...Thanks Again...
Putting students into small teams and assigning them something to discuss helps create a comfort zone as well as emphasizes that you expect participation.