This activity, written by the North Haven High School inspirED team, is designed to get a class feeling connected and supported.
- Cognitive: Provide various opportunities for students to think critically about their attitudes, beliefs, and goals.
- Affective: Enable students to feel a sense of connection to themselves and their peers.
- A ball with numbers from 1-8 written on it
- A list of the “levels” of questions involved in the activity
- Write the numbers 1-8 on the ball.
- Set up room so it is conducive to students talking in a large group.
- Have a prepared list of the questions listed below for each “level.” Feel free to add your own!
Level 1 Questions
- What is your favorite color and why?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- Do you enjoy writing? About what?
- Do you hide things well? Why or why not?
- How well do you handle stress?
- Who outside your family has made a difference in your life?
- Where is your “happy place?”
- Do you have any nervous habits?
Level 2 Questions
- What symbol, object, or saying best represents your life?
- Who is the most important person in your life? Why?
- What events in your life have brought you closer to understanding yourself?
- Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
- Who or what are you missing right now?
- Do you want to be a parent someday? Why or why not?
- How emotionally intelligent do you think you are?
- How do you take care of yourself when you’re going through a hard time?
Level 3 Questions
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- What do you want people to see when they look at you?
- What do you wish people appreciated more about you?
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
- What is one thing you would change about yourself?
- What experience have you had with negative or positive labels?
- Have you ever made a difference in someone else’s life?
- What do you want to see more or less of in the world?
||If you are doing this activity with a brand new group with students who haven’t yet met each other, consider beginning by going around the circle and asking everyone to share their names and a little-known fact about themselves.|
||Encourage students to respect and validate others’ sharing.
Brief discussions about each question are normal; there is no need to prevent students from discussing their opinions in between questions.
||In Level 3, students may choose to respond to a new question each time they catch the ball, or they may also respond to the previous question asked.|
||To close, ask students to write one reflection from the activity on a sticky note or piece of paper. This can be a motivational statement, an observation, or anything else. With students’ permission, display the papers in your classroom.|
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
Some students might not feel comfortable answering questions about themselves. Allow space for each student to choose their own level of participation, and for some students to model active participation for their peers. You might notice that some of the quieter students are willing to speak up after watching others go first.
This activity was created by Sarah Bouffard, Sachi Patel, and Jamie Fredericks from North Haven High School’s inspirED team. To submit your own activity, please contact us at inspirED@yale.edu