Introductory activities

Tour of Where You Are

The purpose here is to build community through students sharing where they are studying from.

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Tour of Where You Are
Educator prep: None
Student prep: None
Synchronous or Asynchronous
Breakout rooms, Shared online space
Duration: 5-30 mins

Activity purpose

The purpose of this activity is to build community through students sharing where they are studying from, during a time when most expected to be on a campus together.

Useful for

  • Icebreaker.
  • Humanizing through storytelling.
  • Learning about the study space, and possible limitations people might have.
  • Build community and create an inclusive, open, caring classroom culture.

Preparation

  • Slide with prompt on it, directions and time.
  • If using breakout rooms you can put people in randomly, or pre-plan them ahead of time.
  • If asking students to show their study space, let them know ahead of time in case they want to clean up or let other family members know.
  • If asking students to show a favorite place in their community let them know ahead of time, so they can prepare photos to share.

Instructions

  • Describe the activity and why you are doing it.
  • Tell people why you find it interesting and helpful to see where they are studying, or a favorite place in their community. 
  • Explain they can share as much or little as they are comfortable
  • Pose some questions to spark what story they want to share 
    • How have you enhanced or changed your space to set it up for studying?
    • What are you missing or do you wish you had to make your space more comfortable?
    • Do you have a place in your community you like to go to study?
  • Let them know they can give a ‘walking’ tour, or show pictures. If showing a picture ask that they do so by sharing their screen (rather than trying to show on their phone for example)
  • Let them know they have 2 minutes to share. If using Zoom you can set a timer.
  • If people are going into a breakout room ask that someone be assigned as timer, note taker, and person who will share back.
  • Set up a collaborative document such as a Gdoc or Onedrive so that the small groups and write down their story. Then add in a shared space so that others can read everyone’s story at a later time.

Duration

Set-up

  • If less than 10 people you can facilitate as whole group.
  • If more than 10 people, suggest putting people into groups of 3-4.
  • 3-5 minutes explaining the activity, why you are doing it, and putting people into groups if needed.
  • 2 minutes per person to share story.
  • If people shared in small groups 1-2 minutes for each group to share something back that they learned.
  • 5 minutes to wrap-up and highlight importance of what they learned, how connects to the community and ways they will be working together.

Adaptations and examples

Alternative tools could be an asynchronous discussion tool such as Voicethread, Flipgrid, Yellowdig or LMS discussion.

An adaptation could be doing it asynchronously.

Technical requirements

If it is a large group suggest using breakout rooms.

Gdocs or other collaborative tools can be used as a way for small groups to share their stories in their small group, and then they can be shared so the whole class can see them.

Useful resources

N/A

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