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The Talking Stick


Subject: Health
Grade: K-2, 3-5

Brief Description
Students use a "talking stick" to practice listening and communicating.


Students practice listening and communicating.


conflict resolution, sharing, Native Americans

Materials Needed

a thick stick

Lesson Plan


  • Explain to students that in many Native American tribes, people used a "talking stick" to make sure that each person had a turn to share his or her ideas and opinions with the rest of the group. The person holding the stick had the right to speak. Everyone else was expected to listen with respect. When a person finished talking, he or she passed the stick to someone else.
  • Have students sit in a circle and give the stick to a student who is comfortable speaking to a group. Ask that student to share something with the class. You might specify a topic or let students choose their own. When the first student finishes sharing, he or she passes the stick to the student on the right. Tell students that anyone who doesn't want to speak can simply pass the stick to the next person. Students should continue passing the stick until each person has had a chance to speak. You might want students to pass the stick more than once so some of the shyer students have a second chance to share their thoughts, but don't insist that a student talk if he or she doesn't want to.
  • You can use this activity in a variety of situations, including conflicts between two students who have trouble listening to each other's point of view.


Students will be evaluated on their willingness to talk and listen.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

Physical Education and Health: