Invitational Education Activities

The activities, lectures and resources below will help you create more inviting, more productive and more enjoyable environments at school, at work and at home. Developing an invitational approach involves individuals, teams and entire organizations. The beginning step is to encourage productive communication.


Blue & Orange Card Activity

A consciousness-raising activity to improve awareness of the messages we send to others.

Audience: Teachers (adaptable for students)

Barriers to Communication

A role-playing activity to enhance awareness of barriers to effective communication.

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult

Be Positive

A mini-lecture to review ten suggestions for improving communication skills.

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult

Attack Thoughts

A verbal activity to enhance awareness of the effects of inner language.

Audience: Upper Elem/MS/HS/Adult

Tape Recorder

An activity to increase the participants listening skills and develop awareness that listening is difficult.

Audience: Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

Open-ended Questions

A mini-lecture and follow-up activity to teach key words and phrases to get a conversation started.

Audience: Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

Words I Wish I Had Heard

A group activity to develop an awareness of the powerful influence of words.

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult

Who Are You?

An activity to encourage the development of positive self-talk. To promote collegiality within the organization.

Audience: Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

I Heard What You Said, But What Did You Say?

A role-playing activity to enhance the awareness of the necessity of clarifying that a message was heard accurately.

Audience: Upper Elem/MS/HS/Adult

Puzzle Talk

A partner activity to introduce "self-talk" and discover how positive and negative self-talk influence what one believes to be true about oneself and one's behavior.

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult


Changing "You" Messages to "I" Messages

A mini-lecture and role-playing activity to enhance the awareness behind attack messages.

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult



Levels of Functioning

A mini-lecture, individual activity and group activity to 1.) examine the 4 levels people function at personally and professionally and 2.) allow participants to recall personal experiences in which they were invited or disinvited. (Valuable for all professions.)

Audience: Upper Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

From the Other Side of the Desk

An individual reflection activity to enable the participants to experience what it is like to be students in their classrooms. (Can be conducted as a group or with a partner.)

Audience: Educators

Neither Attacking Nor Defending

A group discussion to teach techniques for remaining calm during intense personal interactions.

Audience: Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

Checklist for Your Inviting School

An individual reflection activity to ensure that all parents and students feel safe and welcome in a school setting.

Audience: Parents and Students

Winning in a Jam

A mini-lecture and discussion to teach participants that winners in life have skills to make themselves as comfortable as possible on a moment to moment basis.

Audience: Age 7/MS/HS/Adult

Four Corner Press

A mini-lecture to help develop a personal plan of invitational development.

Audience: Adult


Give Yourself Permission to Fail

To increase the awareness of the participants that failure is a part of life and that many people we might consider successful have experienced major failure in their lives

Audience: Middle School/HS/Adult



The Invititational School

A small group consensus activity to facilitate agreement about those behaviors, procedures, programs and policies that would create an inviting school where everyone in the school community feels safe and where the school is a place where students and staff WANT to be. (Can be used individually.)

Audience: Upper Elementary/MS/HS/Adult

Faculty Family Album

A handout to increase camaraderie in the faculty or organization.

Audience: Elementary/MS/HS/Adult


Human Graph

A group activity to examine how Invitational Theory applies to a variety of scenarios in schools and encourage participants to examine their choices from a theoretical perspective.

Audience: Adult (may be adapted for student groups.)

Draw a Student

A partner or small group activity to enable the participants to examine the characteristics of students who need support. (Can be used by individuals.)

Audience: Upper Elementary/MS/HS/Adult


Inviting & Disinviting Organizations

A group activity to analyze the organizational climate and pinpoint inviting and disinviting practices.

Audience: Upper Elem/MS/HS/Adult



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