Students explore their experiences with the group and develop a sense of community/comfort by occupying a common ground.
- Cognitive: Students will be aware of commonalities throughout the group and able to give examples of common experiences.
- Affective: Students will feel safe sharing preferences and comfortable/accepting of others’ preferences.
Open space, list of prompts, slips of paper, writing utensils
Generate a list of ideas for things students may have in common before the activity (samples below). Try to create prompts to cover a wide range of topics, arranged in increasing degrees of level of intensity/disclosure.
||Encourage curiosity and an open mind (stepping out of comfort zone).|
||Be sure to scan your students’ body language to check in with how they’re feeling.|
Consider and honor cultural factors. (For example, being “from a different country” has different connotations for different backgrounds.)
Optional: Note student responses on a whiteboard, being sure to use student-generated terms.
|Celebrate unique differences and experiences.
Highlight commonalities – for example, who may have similar goals for the future?
How did you feel after the activity? Did students participate and seem engaged?
Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity: What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.
Emotional Intelligence Tips
- Offer a wide range of prompts, with low-stakes examples first and more sensitive topics last.
- Encourage students to be honest, respectful, open, and reserve judgment.