Facilitator Cards

Minute Papers Icebreaker Template

Give your participants a chance to collect their thoughts and ideate in peace.

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What is the Minute Papers icebreaker? ⏳

With Minute Papers, you give participants a short amount of time (e.g., one minute) to write a response to a prompt. This can be an icebreaker question or any other prompt you want them to respond to.

By asking them to write a Minute Paper and giving them a minute of silent reflection, you'll guarantee more participation from the group and create higher quality responses!

Here are some example prompts to inspire your activity:

  • One thing that’s made possible by good facilitation in my job is...
  • One thing I love about working with this group is...
  • In group projects, I often find myself being someone who...
  • What are you hoping to get out of this session?
  • What is something you wish you better understood about your colleagues?

How it works

  1. Instruct the group that you’re going to give them one minute (or however long you’d like) to write their response to a given prompt. Let them know if you’ll be collecting these responses, if it’s just for personal reflection, or if they’ll share their ideas with the group.
  2. Share your prompt with them by sending it in the chat.
  3. Ask participants to open up their personal notes tool to take notes.
  4. Check in for any questions or clarifications on the instructions.
  5. Start the timer and tell them to begin writing.
  6. You can have people turn their cameras off while writing and turn them back on to signal when they’re done. This also allows for a feeling of explicit privacy while they write.
  7. Give a 10-second heads up to start wrapping up their writing, then end the writing.
  8. For debrief, lead a go-around share with the large group, call on select participants (pinpoint some themes), or send people off to breakout rooms for a small group debriefing.

About the creators

Facilitator Cards is a deck of 60 facilitation activities that are simple to implement and easy to reach for whether you're planning or in a pinch.

Facilitator Cards were created by the same two humans behind Facilitating.XYZ (a free online resource for all facilitators), Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation (a book about key facilitator concepts), & The Safe Zone Project (free curriculum & train-the-trainer retreat guide).

To learn more about using Facilitator Cards and Butter together, check out this blog.


1-10 mins

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