Placemat Protocol

The Placemat Protocol is a structured format that promotes discussions within a small group that can then be shared with a larger group. Essentially, each small group has a piece of chart paper. They draw a circle in the center of the chart paper and then divide the outside into the number of people who are in the group - usually it's four so there are then four quadrants on the page. Each person individually writes their own thoughts, ideas, references from a text they have been reading, etc. in one of the quadrants. Then one member of the group facilitates a discussion and scribes the common points in the center circle,

Click on the links below for resources related to the Placemat Protocol:
Placemat Protocol Template.png

Placemat Reflections Protocol


This protocol promotes reflective thinking and the sharing of insights in a structured way.

Materials Needed
Colored Markers:Each group has 3-4 markers of different colors

Placemats: Large pieces of butcher paper designed as followScreen Shot 2017-07-06 at 7.25.07 AM.pngs

  • Form mixed groups of 3 or 4.
  • Each tablemate chooses a different colored marker.
  • Simultaneously, each tablemate answers the first question posed in their section of the placemat. Allow one to two minutes.
  • Rotate placemat clockwise providing a “new” section of the placemat for each tablemate.
  • Simultaneously, each tablemate answers the next question posed in their “new” section.
  • Rotate clockwise again.
  • Continue the process described above until each tablemate has written in each section of the placemat.
  • After each tablemate has written in each section of the placemat, a discussion takes place, based on what was written. In the center of the placemat, the table will summarize the main insight(s) they gained.
  • Lastly, each table shares what they wrote in the center of their placemat with the larger group.