To write and then sort ideas and opinions so each voice is
“heard” anonymously-the cards do the “talking”: most commonly used to deepen


  1. Pass out small notecards to students
  2. Pose a question or topic for response
  3. Students write one comment per card
  4. Collect and shuffle cards
  5. Select a couple of students or distribute cards to student groups to sort
    and label them according to predetermined categories
  6. Groups summarize ideas represented under each category and present to


Talking Card topics:

  • Write down ways to save energy and ways that it is wasted.
  • Write down anything that gets in the way of this classroom being a place
    where everyone can succeed.

Audience Assessment
Each student
must write ideas on the cards for others to see. Students can be held
responsible for the compiled list of ideas or information generated in the


  • Categories are not predetermined; they emerge from the responses to an
    open-ended question.
  • Once the cards are sorted and topics generated, students can choose topics
    to research.
  • Students can write about or discuss the connections they see among the ideas
    or information generated.

Resources Needed
Notecards, chart
papers for posting ideas

10-20 minutes for the basic
writing, sharing, and sorting process; depending upon the complexity of the topic.