Election Processing Circle

Election Processing Community Circle
Sequence of Events Description/Notes/Talking Points Timing
Sit in Circle Say: sit so you can see and be seen by everyone 1 min
State the Purpose We are sitting in a circle to build connection and comradery between us as we process through the election results and what we feel that means for our Country’s future. When we sit in circles like this one, we are borrowing a tradition from  Native People, who used this as a practice to hear and value the voices of each member of the community. 1 min
Teach/Remember Circle Guidelines -Circle Guidelines are what allow us to fully give and get what we need from the circle/community

  1. Respect the Talking Piece – We all deserve to give and receive. When you have the talking piece, it’s your turn to share, when you dont, its your turn to listen
  2. Speak from the Heart – share what’s true for you from your perspective
  3. Listen from the Heart – hold back on assumptions, listen fully
  4. Say Just Enough/No Need to Rehearse – Give enough so that others can too. Say mentally present
  5. Don’t Leave the Circle – Take care of your personal basic needs/emergencies before coming to circle, stay physically present
2 mins
Make/Keep Agreements Are there any other agreements we need  to make as a collective for this circle? 2 mins
Intro the Talking Piece -From Native or Indigenous Cultures; object symbolizes the contribution of every member

-The Circle keeper or community member should be personally connected  to the object (as an example-use a photo, piece of jewelry, or  flag from your native country. You should share the reason why you selected the object as your talking piece, the more vunerable you can be with the reason why you selected your talking piece the safer an environment you are starting to create for your students to engage)

Share: The Talking Piece we’re going to use today is….It’s story is…

-Say: When you have the talking piece, it’s your turn to share, when you dont, its your turn to listen

2 mins
Check-In Option one: Share your emotional/feeling color & what that color means. (ex: “I feel dark blue b/c I feel sad and hopeless” or “ I feel red like fire because I am so angry with the decision our country made last night)


Option two: Share the emotion you are feeling as related to a type of weather. (ex. I feel overcast and cloudy but with the sun breaking through because currently I am feeling sad and overwhelmed, but am hopeful something better is around the corner)

*The talking piece is passed around the circle and each student shares their response.  

5-7 mins
Work of the Circle -The work of the circle is the core learning, community building, and  connecting  that we will do together. Today, our focus will be on building our community through processing and reflecting on how we are feeling after our election results. Each of us will get a chance to share using the talking piece.

(The teacher should pick 1-3 of the prompts below and allow all students an opportunity to respond to each by passing the talking piece around the circle. The teacher should be the last person to share their reflections to each of the prompts, because in this process it is important to bring forward student voices and be mindful of teacher talk time)

  1. The main thing on my mind after seeing the election results is________________
  2. One unanswered question I have about the election/ why the results are the way they are is _______________________
  3. One things I wish the adults who voted understood is _________
  4. The election impacts me/my family by_______________
  5. One thing that I wish was different about the election results and/or process is__________________
  6. One idea or action I want to take to work against this oppressive system is_____________________
  7. 20 years from now, I hope my future children will describe our country as ____________________________
  8. What do I need to do to help my vision for our country in 20 years to come to life is__________________
  9. (of course, feel free to create your own open ended prompts as well)

After all students have shared their responses to the selected prompts, use an anchor chart paper to brainstorm agreements/solutions to the following questions.

  1. What can my classmate do to be supportive of me during this time
  2. What can my teacher do to be supportive of me during this time
  3. How do we want to move forward as a class (Some ideas that may be generated are writing letters to a parent/family member/ public figure that express how we are feeling, write a letter to Trump or Clinton, create some other form of civic engagement, have another circle next week to follow up on how we are feeling ,…As the teacher, you would plan time in your class to follow up as needed)
7-25 mins
Check-Out Say: During this circle I felt connected when…

(exemplar response: During this circle I felt connected to Mario when he shared about his parents being upset last night and how he felt sad because he didn’t know what to do to make them happy because I experienced something similar with my family last night)

5-7 mins
Close the Circle Say: The circle is now over, but I encourage you to continue to connect with one another and support each other, that is the only way our community will grow stronger. 111