The World Cafe Community

Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Here is a set of Café Cards in a 4X6" format that I often use prior to beginning a Café conversation. Sets of these quote cards are placed on each table. Participants are invited to pick out a card that they have an affinity with or that speaks to them in a special way. Each participant reads his/her selected quote card to each other and also shares why they chose this particular card. This is a great way to get folks thinking about the power of coversation and sets the tone for an engaging Café experience.
Let me know what you think.

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Thank you for contacting me. As Amy has indicated, I have done a number of World Cafés with children. Most have been in a school setting and on the themes of ethics and shared values. Students' "voice and choice" as a vital part of their learning process is a very powerful concept. The World Café process is a wonderful format for the development of student voice and as a vehicle for young people to take action in the world.

Café questions should be inviting, personal and down to earth. Questions that ask children what they really think and care about are the most powerful.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to continue the conversation.

thank you.  'Voice and Choice '  a very interesting and a very apt expression

Hi Donald,

I am also taking the class and am interested in the value of WCs for children and teens.  Can we discuss what you've learned in doing these with youth and how it may be distinctive from working with adults?

Very curious and thank you.

David Cobb

Depending on the age of the students, the role that teachers and other adults serve in the Café can be very helpful. With younger fourth and fifth graders, I sometimes have teachers at tables or close by, not as part of the conversation, but to facilitate a sense of fairness so that all children have an opportunity to speak during each round of conversation. With older students, grades 6 - 8, the adults are on hand to answer any clarifying questions students may have re: process or topic, but remain on the periphery unless needed. High school students handle the Café process extremely well once an issue or question has been framed and the process explained.

Table covering and markers for doodling, drawing, charting the conversation keep students actively involved with the conversation when not speaking. This was a powerful discovery for me. When I first witnessed young students drawing during a Café, I thought it had turned into a massive art project, but soon learned that students were deeply listening to each other. For tactile learners, it's a must.

All in all, Cafés with children and students are energetic and full of surprises. I'm always amazed with the outcome and the potential for students taking action on what they truly care about following the conversation.

Just found these, Don!  Thanks for sharing them.  Looking forward to integrating the idea into future WCs.  

Hope you find them useful.

Thank You Donald. A nice gift and great thought starters.



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