Activity
Community building activities, Reflective activities

Roses, Thorns, and Buds 

Maha Bali

Maha Bali

This activity could be used as a warm-up or reflective activity at the end of a class.

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ACTIVITY PURPOSE

Encourage students to reflect on the good, the bad and the potential. 

USEFUL FOR

At the start of a class it can be used as a warm-up, to find out what has happened in the students’ day or week that has been good (rose), bad (thorn), or has future potential (bud). It can also be used to reflect on the class itself: what has gone well in the class versus what has not gone so well. 

PREPARATION

Very little. It can be asked orally, or you can prepare slides or a polling tool like Slido or Mentimeter to keep it anonymous. 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Explain the rose, thorns, and buds metaphor to your students.
  • Give them some time to reflect.
  • Invite them to share what they feel comfortable sharing with others. You can poll students anonymously via a polling tool, or you can ask them to share in small groups, or to the whole group via chat or orally. 

DURATION

This depends on size of the class and whether you do it with polling (shortest time, anonymous) or via small group or large group discussion (which will take the longest time). 

ADAPTATIONS AND EXAMPLES

  • The quickest option is to complete the exercise anonymously with a polling tool like Slido or Mentimeter.
  • Encouraging your whole class to share will take the longest time and some people may not be willing to share. One compromise is to poll everyone and then ask a few of your class, who are willing to share orally, to do so. This activity can also be done via chat in small groups using breakout rooms.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

Depending on the way you do it. You might not need anything, or you could use breakout rooms or polling tools. 

USEFUL RESOURCES

Inspired by this activity in Priya Parker’s work (used in family dinner, can be adapted to any context). View the original activity, which was adapted by Priya Parker.

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ABOUT

  • Educator prep: None
  • Student prep: None
  • Synchronous, Asynchronous
  • No tech needed
  • Duration: 5-30 mins

This activity is one of a series of activities from Equity Unbound, focused on equitable online community building. 

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