AllSides for Schools: America - Melting Pot, Salad Bowl, or ...?

American culture revolves around common ideals. For example, the Declaration of Independence enshrines our rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Similarly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his most famous speech described the idea that everyone deserves freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity. Most people would agree that we hold these and many other positive values in common. At the same time, America is a highly diverse country in which we all come from different ethnic backgrounds, cultural contexts, and life experiences. America is often described as a "melting pot" in which these diverse backgrounds gradually melt into a shared American identity. A different metaphor would be that of a "salad bowl," in which Americans co-exist side by side, while maintaining more distinct individual identities.

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around America’s common identity as well as our diverse citizenry. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about whether America today is more of a melting pot, a salad bowl, or something else!

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your cultural heritage? Do you see yourself first and foremost as an "American," or as something else?
  • How have you been shaped by your ethnic background, cultural context, and / or life experiences?
  • Have you experienced cultures other than your own? What did you appreciate? What made you uncomfortable?
  • What value do you see in having a single, shared American culture? What should that culture look like?
  • What value do you see in having a diverse citizenry? What are the benefits of greater diversity?
  • How can we ensure that culture and symbols are inclusive and not exclusionary?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Digital Dialogue

Technology is a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. We use technology to learn in classrooms, watch or make videos, buy things we want, figure out where we're going, keep up with breaking news, and connect with our friends, family, and others. We constantly experience the beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls, and we feel a sense of satisfaction or reward when our phones ring or ping us with a new message. Some people even describe feeling "addicted" to technology.

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around our increasingly digital society and how it is helping and / or hurting us. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the role of technology in our lives today.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Does technology help your day-to-day relationships and interactions with others? How?
  • Does technology hurt your day to day relationships and interactions with others? How?
  • How do you think technology helps or hurts human interaction more generally?
  • Do you ever intentionally turn off your devices? Why or why not?
  • Do you think it is important to have regular and / or sustained "unplug" times? Why or why not?
  • Do you want to change any of your own behavior around technology? What would you change?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Fake and Biased News

News and an independent press are important to a healthy democracy. All Americans, including younger people, need good information to make informed decisions. Lately we hear a lot about "fake news." What is fake news? What are the consequences of believing fake news? Is it possible to identify fake news so that we don't base our decisions and our understanding of the world on incorrect information? Also, what is media bias? Is it the same thing as fake news, or something different?

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around the media, media bias, labeling of news content as “fake news,” and the role media play in shaping our democracy. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the role and reliability of news in our lives today.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each conversation participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Do you follow the news? If so, how do you follow it? What sources do you use?
  • How do you choose your news sources? Why do you trust these sources?
  • What is fake news? What makes it fake?
  • Is fake news a problem? Why?
  • What is media bias? Is it the same thing as fake news, or something different?
  • What options do we have to overcome fake or biased news in our day-to-day lives?
  • What does a healthy news and social media landscape look like?
  • What are our own responsibilities in creating a healthier media landscape?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye. 

Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete
this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Free Speech

What is free speech, why is it important, and when is it OK to limit free speech? With today's technology, it is easier than ever to practice free speech by connecting with our friends, blasting our thoughts and feelings out over social media, and posting the views of others. How can we best protect free speech? How do we know the difference between disagreeing, bullying, and hate speech? Also, should free speech guidelines be different for adults and kids? Why or why not?

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around free speech. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What does “free speech” mean to you? 
  • Does free speech need to be protected more than it is today? Why or why not?
  • Does free speech need to be limited more than it is today? Why or why not?
  • Should people be allowed to say whatever they want? Why or why not? 
  • Should free speech guidelines be different for adults and kids? Why or why not?
  • Should incorrect information be protected as free speech? Why or why not?
  • Should online bullying be protected as free speech? Why or why not?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with others -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Interpreting History

Most history textbooks aim to present factual and thorough accounts of historical events. As a modern society, however, we increasingly realize that historical narratives have typically been shaped by someone's specific interpretation of events, somewhere along the way. As Winston Churchill once famously stated, "History is written by the victors." Understanding history isn't just about making sense of the past. It's also about looking ahead to predict what will happen -- or should happen -- in the future. History creates deep beliefs about who we are and where we come from, while also shaping our beliefs about others. 

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around understanding history, and why this this is important today and in the future. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about history and the way it is interpreted by ourselves and others. 

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each conversation should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What do you like or dislike about studying history?
  • Have you ever heard or read a description of something historical that didn't seem accurate to you? What was it about?
  • Have you ever had an historical topic or issue presented to you from multiple "angles?" What was the topic? What was that like?
  • Have you ever visited an historical building, monument, or location? What was the experience like? Was it meaningful? Why or why not?
  • What do you know about the history of your family? Of your community?
  • What do you think is the most important thing that happened in U.S. history, and why?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye. 

Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete
this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Mental Health

NOTE: This topic is recommended for 10th grade and above, at educators' discretion.

Recent health research has revealed a rise in mental health issues impacting young people (American Psychological Association). Today, many high school and college students deal with anxiety and/or depression. Popular media platforms, like Netflix, have latched onto suicide and mental health as controversial, stimulating subject matter. Are these platforms doing more harm than good? While some believe they reduce the stigma around mental health issues, others believe they lead to increased suicide rates (National Institute of Health). What does popular media get right about young people’s mental health? What does it get wrong? As students, think about how your community values mental health, and what changes you’d like to see in the future. 
 
In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around mental health. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • As young people, what do you think about the notion that mental health has become a serious problem for your generation? 
  • How do you see mental health issues affecting your peers?
  • How have your own personal experiences, however minor or major, changed the way you think about mental health?
  • Does your community value mental health as an important issue?
  • How do you wish your school and wider community would treat mental health? 

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Money and Values

How we earn, spend, and invest our money impacts individuals, communities, the environment, and the world. Some say that how we use our money shows what (or who) we truly value. How, if at all, does money serve that role for you? 

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around money and values. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about earning money, spending money, and what all of it means in terms of your respective values systems. 

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What does money mean to you? (e.g. food and shelter, financial security, power, freedom, fun, etc)
  • How, if at all, do you earn money today? 
  • How do you expect to earn money in the future?
  • What do you like to spend money on?
  • How, if at all, do your spending patterns relate to people or things that you value in your life?
  • If you had a lot more money, what would you do with it?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Race and Incarceration

Recently, the American public has grown increasingly aware of the fact that our prisons contain a disproportionate number of minorities, especially African Americans, relative to the general population. Some people see our criminal justice system as racially biased, while others believe the system to be fair and protective of the public’s interests. We all want our justice system to be equitable, and to keep our communities safe. Acknowledging this complexity, how can we improve the outcomes of our criminal justice system?

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around race and incarceration. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What do you believe explains the higher rate of incarceration for non-white people? Who, or what, is to blame?
  • Is our current system fair? 
  • Do police make you feel safe or unsafe? 
  • Do you think the police face a difficult situation in trying to protect the populace without being biased towards certain groups?
  • How should our criminal justice system adapt to better serve the American population?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Relationships First

We shape our world through relationships. Most people agree we want classrooms and communities where all people have dignity and respect. Yet respectful interactions are often not what we see modeled in the media and in politics. And far too many people feel disrespected in their lives. What can we do about this? 

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around relationships, respecting differences, and resolving problems. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of putting relationships first.

Round 1: Read the technical guidelines

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit better by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Do you think you are a good listener? Why or why not? What does it mean to listen respectfully to others?
  • Can you think of someone you know who is a good friend to others? What makes them a good friend?
  • Can you remember a time when you disagreed with a close friend or family member about something important to you? How did it feel to disagree? 
  • Have you ever seen or been in a conversation where people were not listening to each other? How did that turn out?
  • Have you ever shared an opinion that was very different from a group you are part of? What was it about? How did that feel? 
  • Have you ever decided against speaking out because you were worried about how others would react? How did that feel?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye. 

Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete
this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Social Groups and Identity

As humans, we tend to seek a sense of belonging in the world by identifying ourselves with one or more social groups. For example, a group of friends, a club, a church, a band, etc. The groups we belong to can exist at very local levels, or can have global reach. Our naturally "group-ish" behavior helps us in countless ways ... we can find friendship, status, skills, safety, fulfillment and many other benefits by joining and participating in social groups. At the same time, our tendency to form into groups can have effects -- whether intentional or not -- that are less positive. When group formation excludes certain people or views, or leads to unhealthy competitive dynamics between groups, the consequences can be risky or harmful for some. 

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around social groups and identity. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll reflect on how forming and joining groups can be beneficial (or detrimental) to us as individuals.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What groups do you belong to? Which of these did you personally choose to join? Were any chosen for you?
  • Think about a group you belong to, and describe what you like about belonging in this group. What benefits does it provide?
  • What groups exist in your school? What are the "formal" groups? What are the "informal" groups?
  • Did you ever leave a group because it didn't feel right any more? What was that like for you?
  • If you could start any group, what would it be? What would it do?
  • Are there groups you avoid or would never join? Why?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: The Search for Purpose

Most people believe it is important to find a sense of purpose in life. For some, finding purpose is closely associated with achievement and success. For others, finding purpose might be more about maximizing feelings of happiness and contentment. Still others define purpose in terms of a "mission" or "calling" that drives one to help others. How do people's different definitions of purpose shape the world we live in? How is your own sense of purpose being shaped and defined today?

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around how people define and pursue a sense of purpose in life. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers feel about the importance of "finding purpose" as an aspect of human existence.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Is it important to have a sense of purpose in life? Why or why not?
  • Would you say that you have a sense of purpose in your own life? If so, how would you describe it?
  • Who (or what) are the biggest influences in your life helping you to define a sense of purpose?
  • What do you think is the "sense of purpose" that drives most adults around you? 
  • How do you think your sense of purpose might change or evolve as you get older?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

The goal of this round is to reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: To Vote or Not to Vote?

American citizens achieve the right to vote at age 18. Many Americans, however, don't register to vote, and many registered voters choose not to cast ballots during elections. Furthermore, younger voters (i.e. voters under age 30) tend to vote at much lower rates than older age groups. What is it about voting that inspires younger and older people to vote -- or discourages them from voting -- in local, state, and federal elections? 

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around voting, the forces that encourage or discourage voting, and our responsibilities as citizens in a democracy. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about whether “to vote or not to vote” among those who are eligible to do so.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • If you are under 18:
    • Do you plan to register and vote when you reach voting age? Why or why not?
  • If you are 18 or older:
    • Are you already registered to vote? What led you to that decision? 
    • What was the experience like when you registered to vote? Easy? Hard?
  • What are American citizens’ voting responsibilities and obligations?
  • Do you believe that an individual’s vote counts, does it make a difference?
  • How important is voting in your family? Do your parents vote? Do older siblings? 
  • Do you believe our election outcomes would be different with higher voter turnout? How so?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Tribalism 101 - Next Door Strangers

Tribalism: the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group. 

Everyone has different communities and groups they identify with. The trouble comes when these groups create division and conflict in society. Most people want to live in a country where all people have dignity and respect, regardless of their particular social groups. However, respectful interactions are often not what we see modeled in the media and in politics. How do we build strong and unified communities in a divisive time?

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around tribalism. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • Everyone should answer this question first:
    • Name one or more communities you feel at home or strongly identify with, where you find a sense of belonging and/or feel stronger together.

  • What generalizations and stereotypes do you think people make about your group? 
  • Are any of the generalizations people make about your group accurate, inaccurate, or painful?
  • What generalizations do you make about other groups, and where do these stereotypes come from -- media, family, school? 
  • What is something you wish the wider public understood about your group? 
  • How can we work to better understand each other? In what ways do we need to change?

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AllSides for Schools: Universal Basic Income

NOTE: This topic is recommended for 10th grade and above, at educators' discretion.

What would happen if we had a Universal Basic Income (UBI)? Under UBI, every adult citizen of the country would receive a certain amount of money (e.g. $1000) every month, regardless of circumstances. Some politicians regard this idea as a potentially simple, effective solution to poverty, one that could also stimulate the economy. Others see it as an overly general, simplistic waste of resources. We invite you to explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of UBI.

In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around universal basic income. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it. 

Round 1: Read the technical instructions

ROUND 1: Read the Technical Instructions

Students: Take turns going around the group and reading each one of these aloud, until all have been read.  

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Nominate one student to be in charge of telling the group when it's time to click to the next round.  If unsure who to nominate, choose the student whose first name comes first alphabetically (e.g. Amy comes before David comes before John).  

Keep an eye on the time.
Watch the countdown timer to make sure you're moving through the conversation rounds at the right pace. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; students determine the timing.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo.  When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
Show respect for your peers by making yourself visible at all times during the conversation.  If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Avoid outside distractions.
Show respect for your peers by giving your full attention to the conversation.  Do not let yourself be distracted by other people or objects.

Click the Support button to report any technical issues or problems. 
Click the blue button in the lower left corner to report any technical issues or problems experienced during your conversation. Also let your teacher know about any problems you may have experienced. 

Round 2: Read the conversation agreements

Conversations work best when participants agree to common ground rules. Each student in the group should take turns reading at least one of these aloud:

Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 3: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
  • How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
  • What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?
  • How would your best friends describe you?

Round 4: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • If you were given $1000 a month from the government, guaranteed, how would you want to spend it?
  • Realistically, do you think you’d spend the $1000 the way you answered in the previous question, or would the money end up going to other, less impressive places?
  • Do you think low-income people be able to spend the UBI money to effectively lift themselves up financially?
  • Is $1000 a month enough to have an impact on people in poverty, or should we instead consolidate this money into larger-scale government programs?
  • Do you see UBI as a realistic solution that should be further considered by politicians, or do you think it is unrealistic? Explain your opinion.

Round 5: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
  • Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 6: Say goodbye!

Students: Take turns thanking each other and saying goodbye.  
 
Before closing your browser, take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey so we can learn about how this experience went for you.

AS4S: Gender Series #1 - Gender Roles

Conversations about gender have abounded in recent years. Many people, and young people especially, are shaking off the restraints of traditional, binary, restrictive gender expectations and embracing modern empowerment. Girls and boys alike are leaving gender roles behind. But notions of “femininity” and “masculinity” still define our society. So what does it mean to be a female today? A male? Let’s discuss.

This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender roles. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

Conversations about gender have abounded in recent years. Many people, and young people especially, are shaking off the restraints of traditional, binary, restrictive gender expectations and embracing modern empowerment. Girls and boys alike are leaving gender roles behind. But notions of “femininity” and “masculinity” still define our society. So what does it mean to be a female today? A male? Let’s discuss. This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender roles. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions: 


How would you describe your town or city? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
What do you want to do after you graduate?
How would your best friends describe you?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

What are you taught that your “role” should be as a girl, a boy, or anything else? 
Where does your perception of your “role” come from (e.g. society, religion, family, media, etc.)?
What’s one way you conform to traditional gender roles? 
What’s one way you break traditional gender roles?
How would your life would be different if gender roles did not exist?
How do you think we should work to break down existing gender roles in our society?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

AS4S: Gender Series #2 - Gender Inequality

Women won the right to vote approximately one hundred years ago. Today, women still make approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The women who started and sustained the #MeToo movement have taken over our media landscape to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual assault. Clearly, the movement for gender equality persists. Why do people still feel that they face barriers as a result of their gender identities? 

This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender inequality. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of gender equality and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

Women won the right to vote approximately one hundred years ago. Today, women still make approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The women who started and sustained the #MeToo movement have taken over our media landscape to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual assault. Clearly, the movement for gender equality persists. Why do people still feel that they face barriers as a result of their gender identities? This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender inequality. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of gender equality and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Reestablish connection


Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Does your family have any traditions? (ways of celebrating birthdays, holidays, family trips, jobs/careers that run in the family…)
Does your school have any traditions? (pep rallies, sports rivalries, arts festivals, community service…)
Does your town/neighborhood have any traditions? (parades, fairs, festivals, contests, day of service…)
What would you say your family values? Your school? Your town?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Do girls now receive the same opportunities and privileges as boys?
Do you have any personal experiences with gender inequality?
Why do instances of gender inequality persist (e.g. the wage gap), even a hundred years after women gained the right to vote?
What do you think of “feminism”? What does the feminist movement mean to you?
What changes would you like to see in America with regards to gender equality?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

AS4S: Gender Series #3 - Gender Identity

People identify themselves in many different ways in the 21st century: male, female, transgender, gender fluid, and more. Conversations around gender have become ever more complex: no longer can we limit ourselves to a discussion of “girls” and “boys.” Since our social construction of identity is expanding, perhaps we should reconsider what gender means to us. Let’s utilize the following definitions for this conversation:

Biological Sex - the biological anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics (male, female, intersex, etc.) 
Gender Identity - an individual’s concept/identity of one's self (man, woman, trans, gender non-conforming, etc.) 
Gender Expression - how an individual presents to others (masculine, feminine, androgynous, etc.)

This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender identity. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of understanding gender identity and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

People identify themselves in many different ways in the 21st century: male, female, transgender, gender fluid, and more. Conversations around gender have become ever more complex: no longer can we limit ourselves to a discussion of “girls” and “boys.” Since our social construction of identity is expanding, perhaps we should reconsider what gender means to us. Let’s utilize the following definitions for this conversation: Biological Sex - the biological anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics (male, female, intersex, etc.) Gender Identity - an individual’s concept/identity of one's self (man, woman, trans, gender non-conforming, etc.) Gender Expression - how an individual presents to others (masculine, feminine, androgynous, etc.) This conversation is part of a three-part series about gender. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around gender identity. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of understanding gender identity and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Reestablish connection

Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:


If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal in?
What hobby or activity would you try if money were no obstacle?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

What do the words “masculinity,” “femininity,” and “androgyny” mean to you, and how do you express them?
What’s your opinion on the complexity of gender identity (gender fluidity, transgender identity) in America today?
Would you agree to call someone by whatever pronouns they identified with? (e.g. they/them)
Do you think that when people introduce themselves, it should be customary to include their preferred pronouns?
Why do you think we still adhere to a fairly binary construction of gender (e.g. men & women)?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

AS4S: Immigration Series #1 - Legal Immigration

America’s promise of liberty, opportunity and equality has drawn people from around the world that seek better lives. To a large extent, we are defined by this multi-cultural diversity. Is this diversity a good thing, or should immigrants work to assimilate to American culture? Where do legal immigrants fit into the American narrative? 

This conversation is part of a three-part series on immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around legal immigration. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

America’s promise of liberty, opportunity and equality has drawn people from around the world that seek better lives. To a large extent, we are defined by this multi-cultural diversity. Is this diversity a good thing, or should immigrants work to assimilate to American culture? Where do legal immigrants fit into the American narrative? This conversation is part of a three-part series on immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around legal immigration. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Get to know each other

Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions: 

How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
What do you want to do after you graduate?
How would your best friends describe you?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

At some point in history, your family members likely came to America from another country. What are the countries of origin for you and your family, and what brought your family here?
Does your family have any traditions or values that stand out from traditional American culture?
Do you know anyone that has altered themselves to better “fit” into American culture?
Should immigrants learn to speak English to better fit in? 
Should American culture resemble a “melting pot,” with a single unified culture, or a “salad bowl,” with coexisting multicultural elements?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

AS4S: Immigration Series #2 - Illegal Immigration

Many immigrants enter America without legal status. It is estimated that approximately 10.5 million illegal immigrants reside in America today: that’s a significant fraction of our population (Pew Research Center). Currently, these people make up a significant portion of our economy. But America’s feelings towards illegal immigrants are decidedly mixed: some people feel that our country is dependent on this immigration to thrive, while others fear that immigrants are stealing opportunities and burdening our social systems. Some people want to send illegal immigrants back to their countries of origins, while others want to protect their rights to stay in America. It’s a complicated issue: where do you stand?

This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around illegal immigration. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

Many immigrants enter America without legal status. It is estimated that approximately 10.5 million illegal immigrants reside in America today: that’s a significant fraction of our population (Pew Research Center). Currently, these people make up a significant portion of our economy. But America’s feelings towards illegal immigrants are decidedly mixed: some people feel that our country is dependent on this immigration to thrive, while others fear that immigrants are stealing opportunities and burdening our social systems. Some people want to send illegal immigrants back to their countries of origins, while others want to protect their rights to stay in America. It’s a complicated issue: where do you stand? This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around illegal immigration. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Reestablish connection

Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Does your family have any traditions? (ways of celebrating birthdays, holidays, family trips, jobs/careers that run in the family…)
Does your school have any traditions? (pep rallies, sports rivalries, arts festivals, community service…)
Does your town/neighborhood have any traditions? (parades, fairs, festivals, contests, day of service…)
What would you say your family values? Your school? Your town?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Why do you think people come into America illegally? 
What are illegal immigrants’ intentions in America?
Do you think that legal immigrants are, overall, a benefit or a burden to our country?
As a country, should we be working to keep immigrants out, to provide legal routes towards immigration, or to protect the illegal immigrants that are already here?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

AS4S: Immigration Series #3 - Refugees and Asylum

Today, we face a global refugee crisis. Millions of families have been forced to flee their homes in the Middle East and Europe, and many families from Central America seek asylum here in the US. This mass movement of people has generated a great deal of conversation: some people rush to welcome refugees, while others protest their arrival. This raises questions about how America should respond. Do we welcome refugees, or should we be wary? What role should America play?

This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around refugees and asylum. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Round 1: Overview and agreements

Today, we face a global refugee crisis. Millions of families have been forced to flee their homes in the Middle East and Europe, and many families from Central America seek asylum here in the US. This mass movement of people has generated a great deal of conversation: some people rush to welcome refugees, while others protest their arrival. This raises questions about how America should respond. Do we welcome refugees, or should we be wary? What role should America play? This conversation is part of a three-part series about immigration. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around refugees and asylum. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the importance of free speech and the responsibilities we all face around it.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.

Round 2: Reestablish connection

Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:


If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal in?
What hobby or activity would you try if money were no obstacle?

Round 3: Listen and share to understand

Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

Have you ever interacted directly with refugees coming to America for a better life? 
Why do you think people want to come to the U.S. and leave their home countries? 
If your home country became engulfed in a violent war, what would you do?
Are refugees dangerous?
How do Americans respond to refugees and immigrants? How do you want Americans to respond?

Round 4: Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciations do you have after joining this conversation?
Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5: Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!

NCDD: Adaptable Conversation Cafe

What, generally, makes a good conversation? Many things: an alive topic of interest to all, an open and receptive mood, people willing to listen as much as speak, a willingness to drop preconceptions and explore many different ideas, a comfortable setting in which people can easily hear each other, a group small enough for everyone to speak. At its best, such conversation gets deeper and richer the longer it can be sustained. 

Round 1: Introductions, Guidelines, and Why We're Here

Host: State the chosen theme or topic for the Café. Come to agreement about an ending time (90 minutes is best, 60 minutes at minimum). If someone has to leave early, it’s important to know in advance so the group will not be disrupted.

Host: Regarding latecomers: In case people drift in and join after the starting time, remind them to mute. Allow newcomers to just observe and then join in when their turn comes.

All: Each person should introduce themself and say where they are joining from.  Also let the group know if you have to leave early for any reason.

Round 2: Review the Conversation Agreements

Each participant can volunteer to read one of the agreements out loud. After reading the agreements, check to make sure all participants confirm the agreements, or discuss as needed.

The introduction of these agreements begins to mark the shift from ordinary chit-chat to the wiser, generative depths at a slower pace of ‘being-in-time.’ 

  • Open-mindedness: listen to and respect all points of view. 
  • Acceptance: suspend judgment as best you can. 
  • Curiosity: seek to understand rather than persuade. 
  • Discovery: question assumptions, look for new insights. 
  • Sincerity: speak from your heart and personal experience. 
  • Brevity: go for honesty and depth but don’t go on and on. 

Round 3: Review the Talking Object

Host or volunteer: Read the following out loud to the group.

Talking Object is a powerful tool for creating equality: Everyone in the circle - on the screen - has an equal voice, an equal turn. As a listener in the circle, we know our task is to listen to whoever is designated as holding the Talking Object, without interjecting or commenting.

When we hold the Talking Object, we know we have the floor. We can pass if we don’t want to speak. Online, the "virtual Talking Object" is given to the person who is unmuted: all participants are on mute until it is their turn to speak. The transition of mute, unmute gives a nice slow pace to the round. Before beginning Round 1, invite people to be silent for a few moments to quiet their minds and collect their thoughts. 

Round 4: First Round of Conversation

Host or volunteer: Read the following out loud to the group.

Go around the circle once, inviting each to speak to what is in their heart and mind regarding the theme (people can pass if they like). Remarks should be succinct (1-2 min) to allow time for everyone to speak.

The speaker with the virtual Talking Object is the only unmuted participant. When they are through speaking, they mute themselves and the next person unmutes. 

Listen to each person, with no feedback or response. It’s not necessary for their comments to match the previous ones – a time will come when we are more conversational. 

Round 5: Second Round of Conversation

Host or volunteer: Read the following out loud to the group.

Go around the circle again, with the Talking Object, giving each person another chance to speak without feedback or response.  

During this round, people may deepen their own comments or speak to what has meaning for them now; they can also respond to what others have said. 

(OR – there may be a different question for the Second Round). 

Request that everyone keep their comments brief so that most of the time will be available for the open back and forth that follows the second round. Still no crosstalk in this round. 

Round 6: The Middle of the Conversation

Host:  Now it is time to open up the conversation. Unmute everyone and let the conversation begin. Suggest that speakers raise their hand to indicate they want to speak next (briefly and not in a distracting way); and offer that whoever is speaking can hand off to the next speaker by naming them.

Host or volunteer: Read the following out loud to the group.

Seek to follow and enrich the thread of new meaning and insights that arise – rather than enforcing any topic. It’s fine to end up somewhere unexpected and different from the initial question! 

Mind the Time: About five or ten minutes before the final round time (i.e. 15 to 20 minutes before ending time), tell the group it is time to begin to bring the conversation to a close. 

Round 7: Final Round of Conversation

Host or volunteer: invite each person to briefly express what they are taking from this conversation. Ask each participant, what touched, moved, inspired or challenged you? As in the first two rounds, use the virtual Talking Object.

All: After sharing and reflecting, close by thanking each other.  Then, share the story of your Cafe!

Post on social media using hashtags #ConvoCafe and #WeavingCommunity so that our team can help share, too. Invite participants to learn more about Conversation Cafe at https://www.conversationcafe.org. They may wish to host their own Cafe! Everyone is also welcome to become a part of the community of Conversation Cafe hosts.

Please fill out the brief form at http://www.conversationcafe.org/main-survey/ and let us know how you would like to engage. 

TPS: Convening a Virtual Table

Use this conversation guide to organize a virtual gathering of friends, family, or members of your community. 

This conversation guide accompanies The People's Supper Guidebook, which contains everything you need to gather virtually, in response to COVID-19: suggestions on how to reach out to your community (and what to do if you’re feeling alone), facilitation tips and suggested conversation-starters, guidelines for successful online gatherings, and resources for how you can help those most in need right now. 

Round 1: Say Hello as Folks Join

Hosts: Say hello as folks join. As with in-person gatherings, give people a grace window to arrive, in case a few are running late. It’s important to make people feel welcome: Say hello to each person (by name), and encourage casual conversation as folks join, though it’s okay for folks to mute their line and turn off video while they wait, too. 

Round 2: Welcome Everyone to the Virtual Table

Host: Introduce yourself and share why you wish to gather.

Round 3: Share the Ground Rules

Host or volunteer should read the following aloud:

We will start by reviewing the Ground Rules. These ground rules aren’t meant to box you in, they are meant to provide a sense of shared way of being during our time together.

Each participant can then volunteer to read one of the following aloud:

  1. Be present. We often look at video chats as a chance to multitask. If you can, we encourage you to turn off other notifications during our time together, and to resist the urge to shift between tabs on a computer screen, or to engage in other tasks around you.
  2. Stick with “I” statements and avoid advice-giving unless someone requests it. Your experience is yours and please honor and respect that others’ experiences are theirs. Putting this to practice is hard work: It means, in the words of our friends at The Center for Courage & Renewal, “no fixing, saving, advising or correcting each other.” (And if you want advice, or you’re eager to learn about others’ strategies and practices, just ask.) 
  3. Be patient and respectful with speaking turns and speaking times. During voice calls, it’s not unusual that meeting participants start talking over each other. Notice that you’re talking more than others? Step back and give other voices a chance to be heard. Know that we welcome silence just as much as we welcome speech, and ask only that when you speak, you do so intentionally. 
  4. Beware erasure. Empathy isn’t “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” It’s appreciating how very different it is to walk in my shoes than it is in your shoes. We know how powerful the words "me, too" can be, but be careful to avoid what researcher and civil rights leader john a. powell calls “saming”: “I don’t see race,” or “I don’t see disability,” or trying to relate to something you can’t. (“My partner died.” “Oh, I know exactly what you’re feeling. My parakeet died.”) Sometimes the single best thing we can do for one another is simply to listen. 
  5. Keep things confidential. What’s said here stays here. No quotes or identifying details will be shared without permission.

Round 4: Read Brave Space

Host or volunteer should read the following aloud:

AN INVITATION TO BRAVE SPACE
by Micky ScottBey Jones

Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
But
It will be our brave space together, and 
We will work on it side by side.

Round 5: Toasts and Blessings

Host: Invite everyone to close their eyes for 30 seconds, and to "think of someone in your life who’s having a hard time right now, and someone in your life who inspires you to be your best self." When everyone’s ready, invite them to open their eyes. 

Participants: All participants are invited to offer a toast or blessing to those who bring you courage. 

Round 6: Introductions

Host: Have everyone start with introductions. Our favorite: “Tell us your name, and the story behind that name.” 

If folks are joining from different areas, have them share where they’re calling from. 

As you get started, we recommend calling people by name to introduce themselves.

Round 7: Check-in

Host: To start, keep it simple.  Ask every participant to answer, "How are you feeling?" Be prepared to share first, then invite others to contribute.

Round 8: Introduce Question 2

Host: Read the following prompt aloud. Answer the prompt along with other participants.

Take a few moments to think about a moment of struggle or hardship. What did you do that helped you get through it? How did this experience leave you changed?

Participants: Take turns answering the prompt.

Round 9: Introduce Question 3

Host: Read the following prompt aloud. Answer the prompt along with other participants.

Describe a person who’s bringing you hope right now, or someone who simply makes you proud of your community.

Participants: Take turns answering the prompt.

Round 10: Closing and Reflection

Host: Read the following prompt aloud. Answer the prompt along with other participants.

What’s one thing you will do to build and sustain connection and unity in your community both now and after coronavirus has passed? (Credit: Our friends at National Conversation Project).

Participants: Take turns answering the prompt.

WIN Network: Life in the Time of Coronavirus

This guide, developed by Living Room Conversations and adapted by the WIN Network, offers a starting point for reflecting on the personal and community impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Please modify the questions and guidelines as needed to meet the requirements of your group.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has one minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, why you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Agreements: How We'll Engage

These agreements will set the tone of our conversation. Invite a participant to read the text below.

Dialogue strengthens our sense of belonging and connection by building relationships. When we listen, share, and discover, we are able to create meaning together.

No matter the topic, dialogue partners need to enter the conversation with intention by:
  • Listening for what's true for others
  • Sharing what's true for you
  • Discovering what we share in common

Explore additional conversation agreements from Living Room Conversations. 

Round 3: Conversation Warm-Up: Personal Impact of Coronavirus

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of the questions below.

  • What is the most significant way coronavirus has impacted your family relationships or working life?
  • What are some creative ways you are building connections during this time of physical distancing?

Round 4: Conversation Preview: Community Impact of Coronavirus

One participant can volunteer to read this paragraph:

The rapidly-spreading virus is touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work,
academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We
are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move
forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes
from our shared national challenge.

Round 5: Conversation Questions: Community Impact of Coronavirus

Take ~2 minutes each to answer one of the questions below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has
answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional
questions as time allows.

  • What has the coronavirus revealed about your community or neighborhood (e.g., strengths or challenges)?
    • Who in your community is most vulnerable to isolation or who has limited access to vital conditions (e.g., food, housing, employment, sense of belonging)?
  • What have you had to sacrifice because of coronavirus and how is it affecting you?
    • How does sacrifice impact community members differently?
    • Have there been other times in your life that you/your community had to sacrifice (and what did you learn from it)?
  • What is coronavirus teaching us about social connection and belonging?
  • What about the coronavirus crisis gives you hope?
    • What positive changes do you hope will come out of the pandemic?

Round 6: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the questions below.

• What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this dialogue?
• Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?