Road Signs

Grade Level: 
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Communication Skills
Youth Advisory Committee
Youth Club
In this activity, participants explore how to have productive board meetings using feedback in the form of process comments.

What are some best practices that ensure all voices are heard and respected during group meetings and discussions? What improvements can make more constructive and inclusive conversations? 


30 minutes 


  • small paper plates or squares of paper representing road signs


There are two aspects of any group discussion: (1) the task or topic and (2) the process or how the group is working on the task. In this activity, the youth observing a discussion give feedback through road signs to direct the PROCESS.

First, they make road signs, each with a different process comment on it to help the group be effective and inclusive. One set of participants is assigned a topic to discuss, and the others are listeners who give feedback on the group process during the discussion. When they see the need to make a process comment, they simply hold up the plate so all group members can see their comments and respond. If they have other feedback, they can write a new road sign. 

  1. Participants make road signs to hold up in meetings that provide feedback about the process of the discussion. Display the following phrases for participants to write on the "signs." They should print large enough to be read by everyone in a small group. These are remarks people make in a board setting related to keeping discussions productive. They may add their own 
    • Slow down  
    • Listen  
    • Step back
    • Step forward 
    • Make yourself clear
    • Invite different perspectives 
    • Check for understanding  
    • Focus on the agenda  
    • Provide a definition   
    • Show gratitude
  2. Assign a small group a discussion topic that they will discuss in front of the others. A topic they care about is best. Here are some ideas to get you started.  
    • plan a service project 
    • important qualities of leaders or board trustees  
    • the meaning of "the common good"
    • ways to encourage youth to take action


After 10 minutes of small group discussion and feedback, bring everyone together to discuss the following:  

  • How did you feel holding up your road sign? 
  • How did you feel about and respond to the road signs? Were they helpful? 
  • Did the signs change the group’s process? 
  • What new signs were added or could have been added? 
  • What are the most important processes or road signs a group should remember? Why?

Stress the importance of a respectful process for effective meetings. In the best groups, everyone, not just the leader, pays attention to the group process and makes process comments.