Creating Situations for Non-Stop Talking

written by Alysan Croydon


The facilitator designates each corner of the room as a topic, for example the four seasons of the year in the United States. Participants circulate and choose the corner they like the best. The group assembled in that corner has to develop at least five reasons why they like that corner. Each corner elects a spokesperson and the reasons are presented to the whole group. The conversation corner topics can be adapted to the interests and levels of the participants.

Possible Conversation Corner Topics

On the weekend I prefer to:

shop, watch TV, garden, do a sport.

For my next vacation I’d like to go to:

Hawaii, Africa, Disneyland, New York City.

In a job the most important thing is:

nice co-workers, interesting work, a pleasant working environment, a good boss.

If I could have lunch with a famous person it would be:

Bill Clinton, Ken Griffey Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Janet Reno.

The job I would most like the most would be a:

bus driver, a janitor, a receptionist, a sales clerk.

I have children in:

pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school

(develop list of parenting challenges for each age group).

Small Group Activity


Problem posing trees are a variation on a brainstorm. A problem is represented by the trunk of the tree, for example, difficulty in finding a job. Roots are drawn and the group brainstorms the reasons or root of the problem. Branches of the tree are drawn to represent the effects of the problem and the group brainstorms the effects. Draw a watering can and have participants fill it up with ideas for what actions can be taken to address the problem. The tree gives a clear structure to the discussion. Conversation is richer if you ask participant to explain their thinking and elicit agreement and disagreement from the group as you go along.

Tacoma Community House Training Project  Spring 1999

Courtesy of Literacy Now


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