I read an article in an educational journal and it mentioned that some elementary school teachers have adapted using the talking stick with their students. Now, the talking stick was originally used in Native North American tribes at council meetings. It was a decorated stick that was passed to a speaker as a courtesy so that no one would interrupt a chief when he was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the next person who wished to speak.

The talking stick is not about talking – it’s about listening.

Did you read Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The conch serves the same purpose.

Usually, the talking stick was decorated with eagle feathers and beads, but some tribes used a talking feather, or pipe, wampum belt, sacred shell or other object. The object itself wasn’t the important part of the exercise.

I have also read that an “answering feather” could be used. It was held by the person speaking and passed to the person asked to answer the speaker’s question. Each person needed to listen closely, so that when they spoke they did repeat information or ask irrelevant questions.

(More information on the symbolic meanings of materials used in Native American talking sticks)