Vote With Your Feet
Vote with Your Feet is an out-of-your-seat strategy in which participants express their opinions by standing in different areas of a single line continuum. This strategy allows participants to embody and compare their personal opinion to the opinion of others in a group and to explore the various reasons behind different viewpoints. In comparison to Exploding Atom, in this strategy individual choices are very visible, as all participants stand on a single continuum together.
Before the activity, create a series of statements on a topic that will evoke an opinion from participants. For example: I am loyal to my family. Explain where the imaginary continuum, or line, is in the room. Point out the ends of the continuum as “strongly disagree” and “strongly agree.” Explain that participants can choose to stand anywhere on the line in between these two points. Participants will silently move in order to place themselves on the continuum in response to each prompt. It is useful to read the prompt once so participants have time to consider their response, and then have them move once the response is read a second time. Once the group has voted, use follow-up prompts to invite individual, paired and/or full group reflection on individual and collective positions responses.
- What did you notice about the responses in the room?
- What did we learn about the group from this activity?
- How might these statements make us think differently or understand more about our larger inquiry?
- Remember, this is about your opinion only. There is no right or wrong to this activity.
- Remember to be respectful of each other’s opinions.
- No one has to speak. People can say “pass” or “it’s been said.”
- Any time during our discussion if your opinion changes, you may move.
- Turn to someone who is standing near you and discuss why you are standing on this point in the continuum.
- After each discussion allow participants to reassess their placement and move if they choose.
- READING/WRITING: Explore a theme from literature or play in role as characters from a story or play. Use as a preparation for a persuasive writing assignment or drama activity.
- SCIENCE: Explore an ethical dilemma in science like cloning or energy resource use.
- SOCIAL STUDIES: Consider how privilege and access function in society in relationship to race, ability, class or other identity markers.
- See related sociometric variations.