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Humane Education Activity: Power Chat

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | 2 Comments | Published on June 25, 2013 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2013/06/25/humane-education-activity-power-chat-2/

clasped handsWhat are the problems of the world? What tools and skills do I have to make a positive impact? Power Chat is an activity perfect for classrooms, nonprofit groups, and other groups of people passionate about creating a better world. It can serve as a good icebreaker to allow students or fellow advocates to know each other better and to focus on important issues, or it can serve as an introduction for exploring what each (and all) of us can do for positive social change.

If participants are completely unfamiliar with each other, you may want to use a couple very brief warm-up activities to get the group comfortable, working together and engaged.

Partners will be taking turns speaking and listening on different topics. You may want to let partners choose who goes first each time, or you may want to give them a guideline for choosing each time (tallest person goes first; person with the smallest hands goes first, etc.).

If partners are less familiar with each other, you may want to have them introduce themselves to each other and, at the end of a “round” of speaking/listening, have them thank their partner for listening.

You will need space for everyone to move around.

Here’s how it works:

1.  Have everyone stand up and partner up. Have partners stand facing each other. Have them choose one partner to be the speaker, and the other the listener. The person listening will only listen (not comment, ask questions, etc.); the person speaking will speak for the entire time given. (Roles will switch.)

2.  Give them 30 seconds for the speaker to talk to his/her partner about this topic: “Talk about all the problems and challenges in the world.”

3.  Have them switch roles. Now the new speaker will talk for 30 seconds to his/her partner about the same topic.

4.  Give them 1 minute for the speaker to talk to his/her partner about this topic: “Which one of these issues that you heard or talked about is closest to you or moves you most and why?”

5.  Have them switch roles. Now the new speaker will talk for 1 minute to his/her partner about the same topic.

6.  Give them 1 1/2 minutes for the speaker to talk to his/her partner about this topic: “What personal strengths and resources do you have to make an impact in this area? What do you know about yourself that will help you be empowered to create change for the issue that moves you most?”

7.  Have them switch roles. Now the new speaker will talk for 1 1/2 minutes to his/her partner about the same topic.

8.  Ask participants to thank their partners. Let them know that they will now have 2 minutes to move about the room and do the following:

a. Introduce themselves to someone.
b. Shake their hand and say “Hello, my name is ….”
c. Tell the new person what their issue is and what they talked     about regarding their own strengths.
d. Listen while the other person shares.

Participants will need to “meet and greet” 5 people in that two minutes.

9.  Bring the group back together. Ask volunteers to share their issue and strengths, as well as what they learned from other people that inspired them.

10.  Invite participants to share: What are their next steps regarding taking action on the issue that inspires and moves them?

Download the complete Power Chat activity.

Check out our other free downloadable activities and lesson plans.