Buzz Sessions

Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997), 267


Do you need help getting all of the members of your family to take more active part in group discussions in family home evening lessons or family councils? Try this idea: Divide the family up into small groups for short “buzz sessions.” Have each group discuss the topic among themselves and then present its ideas to the family. This is a good way to get quick reactions to new ideas or questions. This activity is designed to increase family communication, cooperation, and involvement through buzz sessions.

Preparation

Study these suggestions to make sure you know how to hold a successful buzz session.

  1. 1.

    Bring the entire family together and then divide them into groups of from two to four people, depending on the size of your family.

  2. 2.

    Assign a topic for the groups to discuss. You could have all the groups consider the same idea, or have each group consider a different aspect of the same problem.

  3. 3.

    Have each group appoint someone to write down the group’s ideas and make sure that all have a chance to express their views.

  4. 4.

    Tell the groups they will have three or so minutes to discuss their ideas and come to some conclusions.

  5. 5.

    At the end of the time, call for reports and questions.

  6. 6.

    Have the family listen to each group’s ideas and discuss them briefly.

  7. 7.

    After all buzz groups have responded, have the family discuss all the ideas presented. Let the person in charge of the discussion sum up the ideas.

Activity

Explain how a buzz session works. Then choose a topic you would like to discuss as a family. You might, for example, use a buzz session to find ideas for a family vacation or to make a plan for getting family chores done or for saving money. You could show a film, read a story, or watch an uplifting television program together; then ask each group to discuss their reactions to it. Buzz sessions can be a helpful way to make sure that every family member is part of family decision making.