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In this activity…

Students revisit the BRAVING acronym to identify specific behaviours and create classroom guidelines for each element of trust. They are then given the opportunity to start and contribute to a classroom marble jar.

And the point is…

Students often struggle to translate abstract ideas that are discussed in class into concrete behaviours that they can do in their everyday life. This activity encourages students to think about each of the seven elements of trust in the context of their own lives and challenges them to commit to braving connection.

By collectively identifying specific behaviours and classroom guidelines, this activity also enhances both self- and peer-to-peer accountability for building trust with themselves and others. During the school year, the marble jar becomes a powerful visual reminder that provokes awareness and reflection.

Materials: Projector, Poster Paper, writing supplies, large glass jar, marbles


Download the BRAVING Inventory Slide Deck and project it on a screen, whiteboard, or wall where everyone can see it. Start by reviewing the seven elements of trust with students and sharing Brené Brown’s explanation of each element, as presented in the READY section. Next, inform students that you will be identifying specific behaviours that relate to each of the seven elements of trust and which will be used as classroom guidelines throughout the school year.

As you work through each element, start by sharing an example behaviour or statement (provided in the slide deck) that models how students are expected to contribute to this activity. Then, ask students to share their own examples of behaviours that will facilitate or inhibit trust building in your classroom this school year.

Finally, use the discussion prompts to help students think more critically about each of the seven elements of trust. The more specific their responses, the better. In the notes of the slide deck, there are sample student responses for each discussion question. Briefly review these sample responses before the class begins so that you can guide students towards a correct or preferred answer.

Ask a different student to help you write down the examples shared by classmates, as well as the main discussion points, on a different poster page for each letter of BRAVING. Alternatively, use the presentation notes to keep track of student’s responses to each question and share a summary document with students at a later time.

After working through each of the seven elements of trust, bring out an empty jar and hand every student a marble. Explain that these marbles represent trust. By being in class today and taking part in this activity, students were part of a small moment of trust-building. Tell students that, during the school year, you will be adding marbles to the jar when you see or hear about small moments or small actions that build trust, and that you will be removing marbles when you see people participating in behaviours that (at minimum) go against anything that was discussed during this activity.

Help students understand that this marble jar will be used to remind the class about the importance of trust, and that it will challenge everyone to hold themselves and each other accountable to setting boundaries, being reliable and accountable, creating a vault, showing integrity, being nonjudgmental, and extending curiosity.

Let students know that, throughout the school year, you will be revisiting the seven elements of trust and evaluating the progress and challenges that the class is experiencing with regards to building trust. Finally, ask students to, one-by-one, come forward and place their marble in the jar.

To conclude, give students time to share any thoughts, feelings, or concerns. Consider asking the following questions to prompt discussion:

  • Do you think that this marble jar will help the classroom become a trusting environment? Why or why not?
  • What might get in the way of people engaging in small moments or actions of trust? How can we address some of those barriers?
  • Is there any way that this marble jar could be used negatively? If so, how? What can we do to make sure that it remains a beneficial activity?
  • You can do a similar activity at home with a smaller jar that represents the trust you have in yourself. Is this something that you might do? Why or why not?

Many example questions have been shared throughout the slide deck. Make sure you read through the ‘notes’ section of the slide deck ahead of time. This will help you anticipate questions, initiate discussion, and guide students in the right direction.