This activity gets students talking about issues close to their hearts. Students sit in concentric circles and draw cards that have various issues to discuss that are pertinent to middle and high school students.
Rules of Engagement:
• All members are expected to participate. Each member may “pass” up to two (2) times during the discussion and will not have to respond to those question(s).
• Look at the person who is speaking.
• Talking sticks are passed around the circle in a clockwise manner.
• The person with the talking stick gets to speak.
• Alternate between circles. If someone from the outer circle speaks, then someone from the inner circle speaks next.
• A timer will be set for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off another discussion card is selected or the group may vote to continue the current discussion.
• Pass the talking sticks around the circles until all members have had the opportunity to speak (if they choose to) before going on to the next discussion card.
Have a student draw one of the discussion cards, read it aloud, and let the discussion begin. Once all group members have had a chance to speak, or three minutes have passed, have another student draw the next discussion card and repeat the process. Continue until the end of the class period or the end of the time allocated for this activity.
Please note that some questions are specific to high school. These questions can be pulled out of the stack when using this activity with younger students.