Objective: Surface students’ concerns; facilitate understanding that individual concerns are shared

# of participants: Minimum 6 to unlimited

Space: Classroom

Estimated time: Minimum 20 minutes. Time will increase slightly by number of participants


  • Pass out identical pens and pieces of paper to all of the students. You can use note cards or paper ripped in half.
  • Ask all of the students to clearly write down ONE concern, a challenge or a maybe a fear that they have about being part of this group, having this experience, taking this course, etc. This activity is anonymous, so no names or self-identifiers on the paper.
  • When students are done writing they should place the paper in a box/bag/hat.
  • Pass the bag around and have students take one piece of paper out. If they find that they wrote that note they should place it back in the bag and take another one
  • Have everyone read what is on their piece of paper aloud to the group. If people in the group can relate to this statement have them snap their fingers, give a thumbs up or some other identifier
  • After everyone has read ask the students if anything was interesting, stood out or was challenging about hearing these statements
  • Ask the students what they observed as they went around reading the statements. Often students will be surprised to find out that they are not the only one to feel this way. Follow up on these comments to see how that resonates for them.