Setting Ground Rules

Objectives

  • To create a space that allows participants to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, beliefs, and experiences

Materials

  • Butcher paper/flip chart paper
  • Markers
  • Tape

Prepare Before

N/A


Warm Up

Ask participants to share why they think having ground rules is important.

Experience

Setting and agreeing on ground rules that will guide the group is a first step to creating a safe space; it is recommended at the first meeting. You can start with a few common ground rules and ask the youth participants to add their own. Examples include:

  • There are no stupid questions.
  • Avoid side conversations when someone is speaking to the group.
  • Step up, step back.
  • Use “I” statements when speaking.
  • Be willing to share your ideas and experiences with others, even though you may feel your ideas are different.
  • Be accountable to the team — if you say you will do something, do it.
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt.
  • Everything discussed during the session is confidential. This includes sharing others’ experiences with people outside the group verbally or in writing. Be mindful of sharing others’ ideas or experiences within the group; ask permission before sharing.

Reflect

Facilitate a discussion about how these ground rules will create a safe space. If anything is missing, add it to the list.

Summarize

Discuss the importance of following the rules and holding each other accountable.

Demonstrate

Post the rules in the classroom and remind participants to look at them.