Assumptions Wall

Assumptions Wall


Facilitating Dialogue

Additional Purpose(s):

Generating and Sharing Ideas


The focus of this process is to surface assumptions and provide a framework to support dialogue about those assumptions.


  1. Invite learners to list assumptions about a topic individually. Ensure that learners understand that assumptions are things they believe to be true about a topic without proof.  
  2. Have learners choose one that most guides their actions or responses and record their choice on a sentence strip in 8–12 words so that it will be visible from a distance.  
  3. Place learners into groups of 4-6 and invite them to post their assumption strips on the wall in designated locations in the room.  
  4. Model the inquiry frame for group dialogue: 

Individual selects one of the posted assumptions and asks: 

  • I’m curious about this assumption: ______________ 
  • Whose is it?  
  • Help me to understand. What are some reasons you hold this to be important? 

5. In each group, individuals inquire about posted assumptions in round-robin fashion. 


  • Sentence strips (ledger paper cut lengthwise)
  • Markers
  • Painter’s tape or sticky tack


Group learners and ask them to collaboratively list as many assumptions related to a topic as possible. After a few minutes, ask them to select 1-3 assumptions. Invite them to inquire about the assumptions they chose and identify implications of these assumptions.  


Intervene and redirect whenever the inquiry begins to sound like interrogation and disbelief. The inquiry tone and exploration of thinking is important to facilitating dialogue.


Adapted from: