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Smartie, M & M or Jelly Bean Debrief

Smartie, M & M, or Jelly Bean Debrief

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 15-30 min
Audience: Any
Physical: No

Provides students with the opportunity to reflect on an aspect of the class, review class content, or concept application related to a specific topic. A fun way to review content or get people to discuss concepts and perceptions. Using candy helps reduce ownership to comments made by students. This activity is ‘safe’ as the color of candy dictates the student response.  It’s a yummy activity too!

Time requirements: 15-30 minutes

Materials needed: Candy; Smarties, M & Ms, or jelly beans, and a bowl. 


  • At the beginning or end of the session/class/day the facilitator breaks out a bag of candy and puts them in a bowl. (You can also buy Halloween size smartie boxes for each participant – this makes candy distribution quicker).   
    Several options for debriefing:
  • Option 1: The group is asked to reflect on some aspect of the experience during the day and pick a color that would explain the emotions or thoughts that were going on with them at the time. Each person is allowed to choose one candy. A participant may pick red if they experienced anger or frustration, yellow if they experienced joy, etc. From the participant’s comments, the facilitator can ‘funnel’ responses that need more exploration.
  • Option 2: The facilitator assigns each color a specific topic but does not tell the group this. Each participant is asked to take one candy. Once each participant has a candy, the facilitator explains what each color represents. For instance, “red stands for content definitions, green stands for when to implement content, blue stands for interactions between content, yellow stands for explaining the specific content to someone else in lay mans terms, etc.” Then the facilitator goes around the circle and gives everyone an opportunity to show their candy, and present specific content ‘tied’ to the candy criteria.
  • Option 3: This can be used as an investigation tool about a topic to check for how much the learner already knows.
  • Option 4: You can ask participants to take their favourite candy, and then divide by colour groups. Ask each color to research a specific sub-topic and report back next week. 

Function in the class: A great way to start a class to review content from previous learning. A great way to end a class or experience and review feelings, ideas, or content. Food in class is always fun. 

Candy Game Questions

Sample Questions:
Red: Who is going to win Best Picture this year at the Oscars?
Blue: What’s the best video game?
Yellow: What is the best song ever written?
Green: If you could have a superpower what would you choose?
Orange: Who will win American Idol this season?
Brown: Whose side are you on, Madonna’s or Guy Richie’s?