This is a good exercise for building community and for practicing
active listening. The entire class sits in a circle, with every single
person's face visible (nobody hidden behind anybody else).
should come prepared because you will have mentioned the exercise the
day before and told them what is expected of them.
- Ask for a
volunteer to begin. That person will (for example) read her/ his
favorite line from that week's reading and explain why it is a
favorite. Or she/ he may explain why that line connects to her/ his
- A person sitting next to the first speaker will then
respond to that person's ideas, either by connecting to the line or the
experiences, and will then read her/ his OWN favorite line and explain
her/ his connection.
- The third person chooses between the
first two speakers, connecting to one of them and explaining why, then
giving another line and connection.
- The fourth person has three to choose from
- And so on around the whole room.
should take about an hour.During that time, nobody will interrupt or
talk for a second time. The idea is to listen carefully to everybody
in the room.
- The teacher may participate or may hold back.
However, either during the exercise, when one person has been very
brave about telling a personal story/connection or afterwards, when
the whole class has finished, the teacher should praise the class for
their speaking, listening, and compassion.