Fishbowl (Fish Bowl)

  1. Cooperative Games
  2. Icebreaker
  3. Readiness Games
  • Large Group (10 and up)

  • Ages 6-10

  • None

  • 10 minutes or more

Development Goal

Activity is used to manage group discussions.

Before You Start

Have some questions you would like kids to discuss amongst themselves.

Set Up

Students form two circles, one inside circle and one outside circle.

How to Play

Each student on the inside is paired with a student on the outside; they face each other. The teacher poses a question to the whole group and pairs discuss their responses with each other. Then the teacher signals students to rotate: Students on the outside or inside circle move one space (or more) to the right or left so they are standing in front of a new person. Now the teacher poses a new question, and the process is repeated.


  • Instead of two circles, students could also form two straight lines facing one another.
  • Instead of “rotating” to switch partners, one line just slides over one spot, and the leftover person on the end comes around to the beginning of the line.
  • Some teachers use this strategy to have students teach one piece of content to their fellow students, making it less of a discussion strategy and more of a peer teaching format. In fact, many of these protocols could be used for peer teaching as well.


Also called Fish Bowl.