Concentric Circles


  • to build rapport between young people and older adults.
  • recognition and appreciation of other people’s experiences.


  1. Arrange the chairs in two concentric circles. The inner circle should face the outer one.
  2. Ask the older adults to sit in the inner circle and the young people to sit in the outer one facing them. Everyone should have a partner.
  3. Ask a question for each pair to discuss. When they’ve had just enough time for each partner to speak, ask all the young people to move one seat to the right. The older adults should not move. Now everyone has a new partner. Ask a new question. Continue this for at least four rounds. Sample questions:
    1. What is the best and worst thing about being your age?
    2. What makes you proud of being a member of your cultural group?
    3. What are you most eager to learn about from people in other age groups?
    4. What is the most important thing an elder has taught you?
    5. What is your favorite childhood memory?
    6. What is your favorite kind of music?
    7. How do you feel about the neighborhood in which you live?

* Derived from activities compiled by the Center for Intergenerational Learning at Temple University (1995).