Susan Riley | December 2015

SmART Ideas: Conversation Cards

How many times have you been in one of those awkward situations where the conversation just dies?  Whether it’s around a holiday table, or in the teacher’s lounge, it can be really tough to pull out of that moment!

That’s why I love it when places have conversation cards.  These are a stack of random questions meant to spark discussion, and get the ball rolling again.  I’ve found that you can use these little gems in the classroom!  If you’re finding that students are responding with the same old tired phrases, or thinking more linearly than you’d like, these can be a terrific way to spark those imaginative ideas again.

In today’s video tip, I’m sharing with you how I created some of these cards, and how I use them with students.  You can get fancy and have them printed up on cardstock, or you can use some old business cards and tape the questions on the back.  Either way works!  What matters is you’re getting those creative juices flowing.

Like this?  Be sure to visit our SmART Ideas Video page to view each new episode, as well as the archives from previous posts.  And to really make sure you never miss a tip or idea, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Need that template?

Here’s a copy of the questions that I used and a blank version of the template that you can use to fill in your own.  Both are available as a PDF download below!

conversation starters



About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan