Concentric Circles


Making Connections

Additional Purpose(s):

Facilitating Dialogue, Building Relationships


This process provides a means for having learners dialogue with multiple peers for short periods of time in response to a series of questions or prompts.


  1. Begin by dividing the group in half. Have one group form the inside circle, facing out. Have the other group form the outside circle around the inner group, facing in toward their first partner.  
  2. Pose a question that invites partners to make connections and share their thinking.  
  3. Designate the outside partner as A and the inside partner as B.  
  4. A talks first and has about 60 seconds to respond to the question prompt as B listens.  
  5. After the given time, B speaks while A listens. After each person has shared, the pair engages in a back and forth conversation for another minute.  
  6. When the time is up, partners thank one another and prepare to move. With right hands up ready to do a ‘high five,’ the inside circle faces counterclockwise and the outer circle faces clockwise.  
  7. Ask the learners on the inside circle (or the outside circle, not both) to move a required number of spaces to find a new partner, giving ‘high fives’ as they go (current partner is ‘high five’ number one).  
  8. Learners turn to face their new partner and the teacher provides a different question or prompt.  


Desk variation of Inside-Outside Circles 


Adapted from: