121209 games icebreakers energizers


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121209 games icebreakers energizers

  1. 1. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHERIntroductionAny work that asks people to look at topics of a controversial kind or to use imagination and explore feelings can onlysucceed if people feel comfortable with each other. So, time spent on getting to know each other, even if it seemswasted (not on the topic), is actually vitally important. A variety of activities can be used. Only a few of them arementioned here.Activities1. First NamesAsk each person in turn to come and write their name on the board or paper and tell something about it - the origin; whythey are named it; whether they like it; if they prefer. shorter or longer versions etc.2. Talking in PairsPeople are asked to speak with one other person that they dont know, or dont know well, to introduce themselves toeach other. They are encouraged to spend five minutes each. It is possible to give more specific questions to talk about.Afterwards each person in the pair could introduce the other to another couple or to the whole group.3. Ball of woolPeople stand in a circle. The first person throws a ball of wool to another (anywhere in the circle) saying their first nameand where they are from (or any other single thing that you decide on). The next person does the same. The wool shouldcrasscross the circle. A point could be made at the end about the fact that everybody in the group is connected in someway by the wool and their being together right now.4. What I would rather doSitting in a circle each person says their name and what they would do with their life Oob perhaps) if they couldchange. For example: llaria - Actress. The next person then introduces their neighbour, saying their own name andwhat they would rather do. This continues until the last person introduces everybody and then themselves. This is notonly a way for people to learn the names of others but to discover something more about them at the same time.5. I AM...Each person is given the I AM... sheet (copy attached) and asked to write largely and clearly three things aboutthemselves that are not obvious. So not, I am female or wear spectacles or have red hair. They can be as revealing orordinary as each person wants them to be. Then they attach the sheet to their front. Stand. Walk around and introducethemselves to all the other participants by shaking hands; exchanging names; looking at the sheet of the other personand briefly commenting or asking a question. This allows a real personal connection between each person at the start.ConclusionThe Personal Shield and Human Bingo, also in the pack, can be used as getting to know each other exercises or later asre-connection ones. The value of all of them is that they stress that each individual matters and is being valued forthemselves, before anything is done in groups or on the content. This is essential for this work that looks at respectingothers and accepting difference. It sends a very clear signal right from the start.PERSONAL SHELDIntroductionA short exercise for people in a group who do not know each other very well or who have not seen each other for awhile. To encourage easier communication between -group members.A BC DMOTTO
  2. 2. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Each person draws - or makes - their own shield including the following:A - 3 Favourite things to do in leisure time (drawn);B - 3 Ambitions (drawn);C - 3 People you admire (drawn);D - 3 Places you like or would like to visit (drawn);Alternatively: A Three depictions of your family, personal life.B Three depictions of your work or study life.C Three spare time activities.D Three places you like or would like to visit.Other variations are possible.They also adopt a phrase thats applicable to them which will be their motto.Once complete, with a partner each person talks about their shield and motto for ten minutes and then listens as theirpartner explains theirs for ten minutes.They can then be put on the wall of the meeting room for people to look at and guess which belongs to each person orwith names on the top.HUMAN BINGOIntroductionA game best used as an energizer, after lunch or a break away from each other. Not advised as an icebreaker. A short,fun inter-active exercise to help re-establish a sense of being in the group.Process1. Each person is given a copy of the sheet with the Bingo grid. It is suggested that twelve boxes form the grid, withstatements that group members must find the answer to. Therefore, statements like is a woman or is wearing a watchare not appropriate, as these things can (usually) be clearly seen.The statements should cover a variety of topics,suitable for the group you are working with. See enclosed sheet as an example.2. Ask the group to stand, push chairs away and retain only the Bingo sheet and a pen. The object of the game is to get afull house (all twelve boxes completed) by funding one other person from the group for each box. They should do thisby mingling, forming pairs quickly, to ask one question each way. If they get a positive response they put the name ofthat person in the box and circulate to find the next positive response.3. 7he winner is the person who fills all twelve boxes first. It is not allowed to put your own name in any box. At theend, have a show of hands to test responses to each statement. The leader of the group should usually join in.ConclusionVariations are possible. There can be more boxes or less. The statements can be on a theme. They can be deliberatelycontroversial, provocative or risque. If this latter option is chosen, then you may need to allow more time to de-brief theexercise afterwards. In other words, although the main aim is as a group-bonding exercise, it can also be used as adiscussion starter.FIND SOMEONE WHO:KNOWS WHO BARBARASTANWYCK WASIS A CAR-DRIVER HAS BEEN ON HOLIDAY INTHE LAST MONTHIS A VEGETARIAN IS A SPORTS FAN HAS A PET
  3. 3. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"LIKES THE SAME MUSIC ASYOUIS A PARENT HAS NEVER SMOKEDIS WEARING WHITEUNDERWEARLIKES SCIENCEFICTION FILMSWEARS CONTACTLENSESTHE TREASURE, THE PIRATE AND THE KEYIntroduction: Show a picture of a Treasure Chest being locked by a Pirate. Inside, treasure shouldbe seen.Explain that some treasure is going to be locked inside and that only one key will then be able to openthe chest. Show some copies of keys drawn on paper (all with seven different sized teeth). Give eachperson a copy of the key and tell them that they will have to design a key that will open the chest.The treasure: Could be one of the following -1. Future generations of young people with an understanding of, and sympathy for, the work of theRed Cross and Red Crescent Movement.2. Human contentment.The key: In these two cases it would be:1. In our dissemination work, the seven main things young people need to be educated about.2. The seven main things that a human being needs to be content.The clues: Some clues can be written on stickers and placed around the room. These are possible answers.Participants can look at them, or not, as they wish.The exercise: 1. Alone, each person comes up with the seven most important things that would unlock the treasure.They must put them in order of priority (largest tooth = top priority).2. Small groups should be formed (at least three, preferably not more than seven). Each group is givenone different coloured copy of the key. They are told to somehow, someway, reach a group consensusof the seven in order of priority.3. The keys can then be put on the wall or theseven priorities written on a grid on a large sheet ofpaper. Each group should be asked:- Was it easy or difficult to reach consensus?Did everybody get to express their views?Why did your first choice have top priority?4. Either the large group should then be encouraged to discuss and come to a large group decision or ageneral discussion should take place on the issues that arose.Conclusion: The discussion will largely depend in the nature of the treasure and the key that you originally chose.Some points may well apply in every situation:
  4. 4. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"- Is it necessary to have a large group key? Or, are the individual and/or small groups ones enough?Will any key work?!- Is it useful, or not, to prioritize in this way?- Are there cultural differences of perspectives involved?- How did people feel during the various stages of the task?- Can anything be learnt from this exercise about difference and communication as well as the officialcontent?Under no circumstances should the person running the exercise tell the group at the end that they havethe one and only correct key to the treasure. This would rather ruin the point of the whole exercise.Note: Depending on the topic and the structure you choose and the group and the level of discussion thisexercise can take a short time (45 minutes minimum) or it can provide the material for a 1/2 daysession.An example of the treasure, key and possible clues that could be used follows:The Treasure A world without violence and war.The Key The seven main things that individuals can do to achieve this.The Clues Learn to accept differences;Gain wider knowledge of people and the world;Show tolerance and respect;Develop empathy and understanding for the views and actions of others; Read widely;Challenge prejudice and discrimination - even in friends and family;Write to, and lobby, politicians and other leaders;Actively encourage more equal distribution of the worlds resources; Consume less, so that othersmay consume more;learn to deal with our own anger and fear in a constructive way;Talk about problems rather than hiding from them;Live non-violently and non-aggressively - be a good example;Pretend it is the problem of everyone else but you;Use your own knowledge and skills to convince others in your own life;Support - by membership, fumce or promoting them - organizations working towards conflictprevention and peace;Complain, campaign, march and demonstrate if necessary;Boycott companies and governments which actively encourage violence and war;Support the death penalty for violent criminals and the assassination of religious and political leaderswho encourage violence;Protect yourself and those you care about - and ignore the chaos and suffering elsewhere;Feel it as all hopeless and rum to sex or drugs or materialism or career or...These clues should be placed on slips of paper all around the room. People should be told that, like all clues, some maybe helpful and others not. Nobody has to look at them, they can choose whether to look at them, before doing their ownkey, or after, or not at all.THE TEN SYMBOLS OF THE PACK METHODOLOGYThe methods used in the pack are very simple. They are mostly not difficult and not dangerous. They are, though,harder work for those running them and those participating. They will be for some people a change from what they areused to. (For a description of peoples varying reactions to change, see the exercise Change). The following tensymbols explain something about the methods and their rationale.1. The lecturer or expert style of telling people what they need to know is not encouraged. Nor is sitting in rows orbehind desks. Sitting in circles, so that everyone can see each other with no barriers, is encouraged. Also, breaking up
  5. 5. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"into smaller groups of two, three or five people gives everybody the opportunity to contribute, as well as providingvariety.2. Any activity or session or workshop or pack cannot provide everything for people. It is, rather, like building blocks.It can add some more blocks to whatever the individual is building (a wall, a house, a palace etc). Some things can beoffered which some people will find useful and others may find less so. Some people may reject any kind of blockswhich are different shapes to the ones they expected. Others can transform blocks into shapes suitable for their ownbuilding.3. Although strengths and positive aspects are concentrated on, weaknesses and more negative things should not beignored. All people can learn new things if they are open to do so. By facing difficulties and problems and less pleasantthings about ourselves, we can learn and develop.4. Any activity/session/course/pack can stay on a safe, secure level and people will, of course, learn and move forward.If, however, things move beneath the surface a little... if some risks are taken.… if participation and dealing with realissues and feelings are promoted, then difficulties and some unhappiness can occur. The chances are much greaterthough, that real learning and development will take place at a much higher level.5. If the left-side of the brain only is engaged then learning can only possibly reach a certain level. This side is thelogical, rational one that controls reading, writing, number, tasks. If, however, the right-side is also engaged (the side ofimagination and feelings and creativity) than the whole person is involved and learning can reach a much higher level.So colour; visual, musical and dramatic aspects; emotions and creativity, should be used and stimulated.6. The educational theory underlying this work is based on Dales Cone of Experience. This suggests that people onlyremember 10 to 20% of what they read or hear. If they see and hear then it approaches 50%. To get higher they need tosee, hear, say and do. If they are actively involved they can integrate up to 90%. These methods all involve activeparticipation and experiencing to encourage the greatest learning possible.7. Sharing and equality are two of the key elements of the approach. Not the patronizing Adult telling Child; Mantelling Woman; North telling South; West telling East or Geneva telling everybody, what to do and how to do. Instead,a belief that everybody can learn from each other, if they are open to receive as well as to give.8. Accepting difference, in the world at large and within the group, are stressed. It means accepting people fromdifferent cultures and backgrounds; those with different lifestyles and opinions; those who want to be a part ofeverything and those who sometimes want to withdraw; that people are individuals as well as members of a Society. Itmeans giving quite a lot of responsibility - including for their own learning or lack of it - to people themselves and nottrying to lead, control or shape too much.9. The hope of this work is that people will feel motivated to do something about it themselves in their ownlocal/personal situation. It can then have a snowball effect. gathering pace and momentum and increasing in size. Firstcomes some awareness and sharing together and then can come some action with solidarity. Like light, weaksnowflakes joining together until they form a formidable snowball.10. People - whether on a course; in school; at work; in a refugee camp; in a relationship etc - can be treated like one ofthree vegetables.The Green Bean: the grower tightly controls its growth, to make it perfect. The grower knows what size, shape, colourand texture it should be to make it marketable. It becomes perfect but at a cost: no freedom.People treated this way are controlled to ensure that they have the right/best information, skills, etc.The Mushroom: the grower places them in a dark place (a dungeon, under a box) and leaves them to grow. They mightoccasionally be given some manure. They grow or they dont.People treated this way are given nothing. They are ignored, not told anything, except on occasions, something useless.The Tomato: the grower prepares the ground well; protects them from birds, waters them and cares for their growth,especially at first. After a while some may grow smaller/larger; greener/redder; sweeter; different shapes etc. All areconsidered worthwhile.This way of treating people, is to offer some things, especially at first, but then they are free to grow and developthemselves.
  6. 6. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"The whole ethos of this pack is that it is better to try to treat people like tomatoes, rather than green beans ormushrooms. Neither perfection nor total freedom are the goals. The goal is to offer something, to share and toencourage real awareness and responsibility.IDENTIFYING NEEDSASSESSING: COMMUNITY NEEDS EXERCISEPurposeThis exercise is designed to help us see how the priorities set by professional workers and newcomers to a communityare not always those that the community members would choose.QUESTIONNAIREPriorities of Mathari Valley PeopleThe Nairobi City Council recently made a survey of over 2,000 families in Matliari Valley. They asked the people whatproblems the people saw as most important in their lives in the valley. They then asked the people to rank thoseproblems in order of priority.Instructions: Rank in order of what you think the people in the Valley answered as their first, second, thirdpriorities etc. Place a number 1 by the one you think they ranked first, a number 2 by the one you think they rankedsecond, etc. up to 10.Write your numbers in the left hand column.Your Ranking----------- Land----------- Clean water----------- Shelter----------- Clothing----------- School Fees----------- Money to expand business----------- Educational facilities----------- Food.----------- Better standard of housing----------- SanitationTaken from "Health Care Together" by Mary Johnson and Susan Rifkin (1987), published by Macmillan Publishers,London.HUMAN SCULPTUREIntroductionAn inter-active activity to demonstrate cooperation and acceptance of difference. This is often the hidden aim. Theintroduction can state this or it can be billed as a warm-up activity or one on a completely different topic.Process1. Ask people to form groups of three or four. Then ask them to demonstrate, by forming a human sculpture,something on the topic you give them. The topic can be:the benefit of cooperationaccepting the difference of othershow this group or class worksconflictnightlife in the areacats(Clearly almost any topic can be chosen, depending on the group, situation and your aim).
  7. 7. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"2. The group are told they cannot talk at all during the exercise. They are given a set amount of time and told theywill then present their sculpture to all the other groups. Only after this will talking be allowed.3. One person in each group is given a disability by the leader. They must keep their hand behind their back or intheir pocket. Alternatively they must stand on one leg or stay bent over. Other variations are possible. No reasonsare given for this, however they must stay this way until the end of the presentations.4. After each group has made their presentation, allow each group some time to talk about what they achieved, howthey felt about it and what, if anything, they learnt from it.5. Open this out to a general discussion. Some specific questions should also be posed:What did it feel like working without words?How well did the group work together?What helped or hindered this working together?How did the individual wish the imposed disability feel?How did the group react to this person and how did they feel about them?What did you learn about: human sculptures; the topic you were asked to sculpt; cooperation; difference?(Many other questions could be posed depending on the group, the time and the nature of your work. Forlarger groups, or even for smaller ones, these questions could be raised with small groups first before the largegroup discussion).ConclusionSome difficult issues could arise during this exercise and time will need to be allowed to look at them properly. Theleader will probably need to make choices about which questions to focus on.MY HEROIntroductionThe world of fantasy can be a useful tool in helping young people discover and express their thoughts and feelings. Forthis exercise, we will use the notion of the hero figure as another tool for helping young people to look at their personalvalues in more depth.In order to have a clearer understanding of the nature of the activity, the following remarks should be taken intoconsideration:1. Consciously or unconsciously, almost everyone has one or more hero figures;2. Hero figures play an important role in the lives of young people since they normally serve as a centre ofattraction or as a figure with which to identify and in this way they help young people to adopt a number ofvalues;3. It is therefore important to realize that hero figures are not neutral, they have a certain image and convey anumber of values;4. Viewed from a collective dimension, hero figures can also play a very important role in the life of largercommunities, such as a racial or ethnic group or a country.For this reason, a hero figure can be a most important factor in national unity (when it is shared by the whole populationof a country), but it can also cause division when it is shared by a particular sector of the society, community or ethnicgroup and not recognized by other sectors of the population.
  8. 8. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"This aspect must be carefully taken into account for this exercise. Only the general setting is given here, but it can andshould be adapted to local circumstances.The main aim is to encourage people to realize that other people in the same country, community or city may have otherheroes and to understand and respect their choices.Process1. A few volunteers should be asked to give their definition of a hero. It is not important to give a dictionarydefinition. Some of the following aspects may possibly emerge:A hero is: a noble person admired for his or her achievements of noble qualities, someone with superhumanqualities, someone who has special talents, someone who has dedicated his or her life to the service of others,etc.2. Give out the MY HERO form. State that:a) A hero (for the purposes of this exercise) could be a real or fictitious character. It could be a patriotof the country, a religious figure, a popular character from a TV series or commercial, an historicalfigure, a hero from a book or film, etc;b) Each person may have one or several heroes, but for the purpose of the exercise participants are askedto concentrate on only one hero. They should therefore select the hero who is the most important tothem.3. Each person completes their form individually. There should be no communication between people.4. Having completed the form, each person finds a partner and shares their answers with them. It isrecommended that each partner gives their answer to question No. 1 before going on to question No. 2 and soon. This will make any comparison easier and keep the dialogue between partners flowing.People should be ready to answer questions asked by their partner, e.g. At what age did you chose your hero?Have you changed your hero figure many tiines? What were the reasons for your choice of hero figure? etc.Questions that appear critical or threatening should not be allowed, e.g. Dont you think it is wrong forsomeone to have a war hero? etc.5. Back in the large group ask people to name some of the qualities that their hero has. These can be written on aboard. Striking similarities between the qualities of very different heroes, both historical and fictitiouscharacters will probably be seen.The names of heroes can be shared. If this happens, criticism of the choices should not be allowed.6. Comments can be made about the positive and negative qualities of heroes in general and questions raisedabout their influence. Discussion can also take place about the value of having hero figures for individuals andcommunities. Points could also be made about the dangers of blindly accepting everything about somebodyyou admire as opposed to keeping some kind of critical distance from them.ConclusionThis activity can prove quite thought-provoking for people as it asks them to reveal a great deal about themselves andtheir personal values. It then links this with the effects of hero identification on groups of people and communities.The power of these personal and shared values can then be seen. Further work on these aspects and the need torecognize and accept different values can follow.MY HERO1. if you were asked to select ONE hero, who would you chose?2. a) What qualities of your hero do you admire the most?
  9. 9. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Why?b) Are there any qualities/characteristics of your hero that you dislike?Why?3. a) Which of your heros actions gives you the most joy?Why?b) Which of your heros actions disappoints you the most? Why?4. Has your hero taught you what you consider to be a very valuable lesson as far as your own life is concerned?If YES, briefly describe the lesson.ME AND MY ENEMYIntroductionAn activity that looks at links between our "enemies" and ourselves and how our view of our "enemies" can tell us a lotabout ourselves.Process1. Ask all participants to write down three things that they hate or fear about their enemy. They should try tothink of someone or a group of people that they really dislike, either for themselves or for what they represent.If they find it impossible to think in those terms, they can use as an enemy someone or a group of people theywere taught to hate or fear as a child. (5 min).2. Then participants should draw up a list of things they dislike.about themselves. Ask them to find things thatthey are genuinely uncomfortable about, or would really rather not acknowledge. They then add to the listthings that they feel they are not, and would like to be. This list will not be shared with the whole group. (5min).3. In pairs, partners look at their lists, stating the three things that they dislike about their enemy. Ask them to seehow many links they can make between the two lists. What do their enemies have in common withthemselves? Can they see in them anything they reject in themselves, or anything they would like to be andare not? Make sure that pairs spend time on the lists of both partners - five minutes each. (10 min).4. Back in the large group, people are told that they do not have to share all the information they wrotethemselves or discussed in pairs. However, open out the discussion by asking questions like:Did people find links between what they do not accept in themselves and what their enemies represent? Doesthis tell them anything about themselves or the nature of "enemies"? What can we learn from facing up to ourown fears and hates?It might prove useful to reform the pairs to consider these questions or to ask two pairs to join together to form smallgroups of four. Some general comments or discussion in the large group should draw out some of the main learningpoints from the exercise.ConclusionSome self-awareness and empathy for others are the main aims of this exercise as is an introduction to the nature ofprojection.Cari Jung, an influential psychologist, suggested that we project what we dislike or fear about ourselves onto others anddisassociate ourselves from it, thereby creating enemies. It is a tough concept to apply to ourselves because it requiresus to see ways in which our enemies and we are the same. A good starting point is to look at what we have in commonon a practical level, such as families, lifestyle, expectations, dreams and children. These links can be a goodintroduction to breaking down some psychological barriers.
  10. 10. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Further exercises on the results of projection, in the form of hate and fear and prejudice and discrimination couldfollow.HUMOUR AND STEREOTYPESIntroductionA few activities to encourage people to consider the nature and power of humour and to look at the necessity anddanger of humorous stereotypes.Process1. In small groups, investigate some of the following:- What makes each of us laugh/smile?- Are there many different things?- Does it depend on mood? situation? company?- Do we laugh at things we are afraid of or dont know anything about?- Is it easy/difficult to make others laugh?- How do you make others laugh?2. Ask each group to prepare something for the other groups. The aim is to make them laugh. They may preparea story, a drawing, a drama, anything as long as it makes people laugh. After some planning time, give eachgroup the opportunity to make the others laugh.Following this, have a discussion on how each group made decisions about what to do and whether they weresuccessful. Get people to consider what factors they took into account, for example, type of audience, howwell they know each other, etc.3. Ask people to form pairs. Firstly alone, using a sheet of paper, get them to think of a time when they foundsomething really funny. Ask them to analyze it. Why they found it funny? What was it actually about? Theyshould then turn the paper over and think of a time when they didnt find something funny at all, but they stilllaughed or smiled or joined in with the joke. This time they should analyze: why didnt they find it funny?why did they still laugh/smile? who else was there? Encourage people to be honest with this, even if it quitedifficult. (Many people may well claim.at first not to be able to think of any situation like this. If they cannot,ask them to think of a situation where they found something funny and others clearly didnt). They should thenshare these two situations with their partner and discuss them a little further.Back in the large group, ask people not to share the situations but any general reflections on what this showedabout humour.4. Many jokes and peoples abilities to find things humorous depend on knowing the person or understanding thesituation or belonging to a certain group of people. Much humour makes little sense to those who are not inon them.In small groups, ask people to do the following:Firstly, consider:What are in jokes? How people not in react to them?What do the mass media have to do to make us laugh at the same time at the same thing?(Consider studio audiences, canned laughter, stereotypes, etc.)Secondly, ask people to watch some TV entertainment programmes or listen to radio DJs. Read somecartoons. Look at advertisements. Then list some of the stereotypes that are frequently used.
  11. 11. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Thirdly, ask groups to consider that stereotypes must be finstantly recognisable and allow for no individualdifferences. Think about hospital nurses, upper class women, radical trade union leaders,. gay men andlesbians or any other groups that you have thought of. Then encourage them to discuss the following:How real are the stereotypes?Why do you think that they started?Why are stereotypes sometimes very useful?How would you feel if you were a member of the group talked about in this way? Or, if a member of yourfamily was?How would you be affected if you didnt know anyone who was a member of that group?How might you react if you met or heard of someone in that group after years of listening to thestereotype?Why are some groups singled out for more jokes than others?Why is it more worrying when jokes are directed at a whole community, rather than rich people or thosedoing a specific job, like politicians?Fourthly, ask groups to choose one group who are shown in a fairly negative, stereotypical way. Ask them tocollect examples of these stereotypes together. They should consider how these stereotypes happened. Theyshould think about how members of this group might feel about it. They could even ask members of the groupor read things from members of the group to see how they feel. They could think about whether anythingcould, or should, be done to try to alter the stereotype.After some time working on this in small groups they should present/demonstrate their findings to the largegroup.Some discussion should take place comparing the types of stereotypes, and reactions to them, as well aspossible strategies for changing them.ConclusionOne or all of these activities could be used. Their purpose is to get people to think a little bit more about whether someharmless fun really is so harmless if it is directed at certain individuals or groups. It also highlights how humour canbe used as a propaganda weapon. Becoming conscious of it, and trying to minimize its harmful effects, is somethingvery practical that all individuals can do. Any work on vulnerable groups, respecting difference and conflict can benefitfrom some attention to humour.THE MEDIA AND OUR LIVESMass Media: Means (especially newspapers, radio, television) of imparting information to, influencing the ideasof, enormous number of people.Oxford DictionaryThere is no doubting the power and the influence of the media on most of our lives. Many of us live in a media-saturated society. From the moment we wake, our day is penetrated by pictures and sounds from the audio-visualmedia. At night our dreams are touched by the images of the day.It has been suggested that the average adult of some countries spends approximately 75 hours per week in contact withthe mass media, however casual that consumption may be - a glance at a poster or a half heard radio programme. Manygovernments have statistics showing that children spend more time with the mass media than they do in the classroom.Only sleep takes up more time.YOU AND THE MIEDIAKeep a diary for one week of your own contact with the media.Note the type of media and the length of time you were in contact with it.(Remember you could have contact with several types of media at the sametime).At the end of the week discuss in groups the type and length of mediaconsumption.
  12. 12. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Design a bar graph illustrating the results.As we spend so much time in contact with the media, it naturally provides us all with a potent source of information,values, pleasure and meaning. This helps shape our attitude to ourselves and the world in which we live."The mass media do not determine attitudes but they do -structure and select information we may use on which to basedecisions about what attitude is appropriate... (this) means that it tends to maintain, cultivate and exploit beliefs andattitudes already held, rather than undermine or alter existing perceptions.Gajeara VennaThe Black and White Media BookThe selection procedures used by the media to determine what we read, hear and see are critical to our ownunderstanding of the reality around us.THE FAMILY ALBUMIn pairs or smafl groups:Look at your own, or your familys photo album.Talk about some of the events shown with your partner or group.Consider:What are the photos of ? (Parties, marriages and holidays?) How many arethere of fights, everyday drudgery, divorces, funerals, bad times?We are very selective in what we choose to take a photo of initially. Wethen select what to put in the album or on display.What you are likely to take pictures of - where and when.Which you choose to display or put in an album.Which you reject - and why.For a few photos, try to remember what happened before and after the photo-was taken.Is the album a true record? Does it reflect reality?Why do we rarely keep a record of unpleasantness?To a person that did not know us, how might our selection process for ouralbum affect the way we are viewed?Our own photography is probably conservative and follows a set pattern. The kind used by the mass media is no lessso. All the visual images we see in the media have been chosen to express a particular point of view and to conform toset patterns. Just as we dont display the photo where we were caught picking our nose, so the media carefully selectsthe visual images it provides us with. These selection processes will affect the opinions of those receiving the images.It will influence our opinions about: politics, possessions, wealth and poverty, strikes, demonstrations, the worldgenerally.The power of visual images and of the selection processes used by the media will be better understood by attemptingsome of the following activities:ANALYSISUsing a photograph, slide, or still, start by showing a small section of it. Thenincrease to a larger section and finally the whole of it.The group should call out what they see and must decide whether they are
  13. 13. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"describing the image (objective) or interpreting it (subjective).Individuals or groups could prepare their own photographs for analysis. Thisexercise indicates how photographs can be % used, how responses to imageshave been learned collectively and how they might be variedPHOTO ANALYSISEach person has a photograph and a piece of paper. They write a briefcomment about the image, fold the paper and pass it on. When all the grouphave commented the group should discuss their responses and the reasons formaking them, noting similarities and differences.CAPTIONING"The photograph of a couple locked in embrace may be captioned Love or itmay be captioned Rape". Harold EvansUsing a selection of photographs students should write a caption toaccompany the image. The photograph and text should then be passed toanother member of the group who is asked to write a caption interpreting theimage from a different point of view.A CHIILD ON TELEVISIONIntroductionAn activity showing the power of the selection of images and words for television. Allows consideration of somepractical, creative and ethical issues about the Media. It is also about the importance of education and upbringing inearly childhood.ProcessStart either by introducing the topic of the child or by the method of television story-boarding (a plan of the words,images and timing of a television broadcast).1. The child"Childhood is a time of innocence" "Give me a child until he is seven and Ill createthe Man"Say or give out these old quotations about children, (You can explain that it is about women also, but in older timesthey were not mentioned). Say that they may seem contradictory to some people and complementary to others.Split people in small groups of, perhaps, four or five. Give some groups the Six Statements and some the SevenStatements. Ask them not to talk with, or show their statements to, other groups.Six StatementsA child who is criticized - learns to condemnA child who is punished - learns to fightA child who is insulted - learned to be shy ASeven StatementsA child who meets tolerance - learns patienceA child who is encouraged - learns confidenceA child who experiences security - learns trust
  14. 14. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"child who experiences shame - learns to feelguiltA child who is abused - learns self-loathingA child who sees loved ones killed - learns tofear and hateA child who experiences fair play - teams justiceA child who feels friendship - ]cams to showkindnessA child who is accepted - learns self respectA child who receives care and love - learns to loveAsk each group to discuss the meaning of their statements and what they think about them.2. Television story-boardingExplain that story-boarding is a planning grid. People working on a television programme or advertisement usestoryboards to organize themselves. (Show them the Picture, Time and Sound diagrams). The storyboard shows whatpictures the viewer will see at any point during the progrannne or advert and the words and sound effects that will gowith the images. A useful tip is that it takes about 1 second to say 3 words. Images and sounds should match.3. The taskExplain that each group needs to create a two minute news item, advertisement or small feature for television abouttheir six or seven statements by story-boarding. They can either have many copies of the Picture, Time and Sounddiagrams from you or create their own. They need to sketch the images, estimate the number of seconds and write inany words or sound effects.The following points need to be discussed:What do you want to communicate with the audience?What are the three main points you want to make?How are you going to explain what is happening?Are there any images or words you cannot or will not use?How are you going ten keep your audience interested?How can you compete with an action-adventure film, a football match or a prize-winning show?Give a time limit for the group to discuss and prepare. An hour or an hour and a half at least. Explain that at the endthe groups will display their storyboards for others to see and will give other groups a brief description.4. The showPut all the sequences on the wall. Ask people to look at the storyboards of all other groups. They should try to notice ifthere are similarities and/or differences. They should see if each one makes an impression on them. After some timefor this, ask people if there are any questions they have for a certain group. What something means? Why they choseit? (Ensure that questions are directed at all groups, not just one or two). Ask if differences can be seen between thegroups who had the six statements and those that had the seven? Consider why this might be. You may need to asksomeone from each group to read the six and seven.Ask each group whether they were able to agree on their storyboard easily and about their discussion on which imagesand sounds could be used and how they were going to interest their audience in this topic.There can then be a broader discussion on whether any of these sequences would be likely to be broadcast; the difficultyof interesting people in topics like this; the need for television to be entertaining and whether it is possible to remaintrue to your principles and to compromise with the reality of the Media.5. VariationsYou could make a competition between the groups. This would clearly reflect the reality of the media. The best onebeing judged on how it grabs and holds the interest of the viewers. A small prize, of some kind, could be offered.Such an exercise can be done with any topic. Refugees. Gypsies. Disaster relief. Famine. In each case some visual orverbal input needs to introduce the topic.Instead of television story-boarding, a front-page of a newspaper could be laid out or a cassette recording of a two-minute radio spot made. The structure of the exercise would be the same.
  15. 15. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"ConclusionHumanitarian work needs the Media and vice versa. The relationship between the two is not always easy because theyhave very different goals and practices. Some understanding of this reality can prove useful and illuminating.VICTIMSIntroductionAn exercise exploring the ways of the Media, and peoples reactions to it, especially in relation to vulnerable groups.Process1. Have a large and varied collection of newspapers and magazines and/or ask participants to gather sometogether. Ensure that some of them have some clear reference to your chosen topic. Scissors, sellotape, glue,colored paper, crayons and pens should also be available.Split people into small groups, with four to six in each. Give each group a large sheet of paper. Ask them tocreate a collage of words and images that show how the Media portray "victims". It might be a good idea toask people to start with what they understand by the word first. It could be victims of disaster or conflict orcircumstance. In groups they should look at, and think about, how the Media shows the ‖victims".As well as creating the collage, they should discuss their reactions to the word "victims" and the media attitudetowards "victims and why this might be so.After a set amount of time, maybe thirty minutes, ask each group to show and explain their collage to everyoneelse.2. Open up a general discussion by asking how people reacted to the task, the word, the media messages andothers in their group. Encourage some analysis of the Media: its ways of working; its views of vulnerablegroups; its reasons for being as it is; how influential and powerful it is; how it could be changed or modified.Some strong feelings may also be stirred up. Allow time for them to be expressed but also time for someanalysis and positive as well as negative aspects to be considered.ConclusionThis is a deliberately provocative exercise to stir up some thoughts and feelings about the influence of the Media onpeople and the world. It also provokes people to consider their own attitudes - and those of Society in general - towardsvulnerable groups. Similarly provocative variations would be to change the title to: vulnerable groups or helping theneedy. More specific, and perhaps less controversial, would be to have the name of a specific group as the title ordisasters or conflict or, even, the Red Cross.IN EVERY CASEIntroductionAn activity about basic human rights. which asks whether there are ways of treating people which are always wrong, nomatter what the situation..Process1. People should be split into small groups of four or five and given three cards marked:IN SOME CASESIN MOST CASESIN EVERY CASEThey should be placed next to each other with plenty of space underneath them to place other cards.2. Each group should be given a set of cards with some statements written on them. Some suggestions follow.Six or eight for each group. They should be shuffled and placed facing down. In turn they should be turned
  16. 16. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"over and the group should discuss where to place them. They then put them underneath one of the threeheadings.3. Once completed - or when a certain amount of time has passed - give each group member two blank cards.Ask them now to write two of their own statements about topics that could be categorized in this way. Theyshould place them face down and shuffle. They are then read out, discussed and classified as before.4. Once completed - or again, when a certain amount of time has passed - ask the groups to leave their statementson view. They should all move round to look at a neighbouring groups responses. Within their group theycan discuss whether there are any things they would not agree with. They should not move any of this newgroups cards, but make a note of any points they want to question.5. If there are only two or three groups, each group can in turn ask the other any questions they have. The groupwho placed the cards should explain their thinking. The questioning group can then give their viewpoint.(If more than four groups, then pair up groups for this part of the exercise).6. Allow time for groups to look at the responses of remaining groups. However, there will be no discussion onthis.7. Back in original places, some questions can be asked and comments made. Groups could be asked:Was it easy or difficult to reach group agreement?Did they feel that each group member had an equal amount of speaking time?What does this have to say about what are essential (i.e. in every circumstance for every person) basic humanrights?Does there seem to be agreement about what should be a right in every case?Does this teach anything about the task of defining and promoting human rights?8. Variations are possible. People could be asked to do their own cards from the beginning, for example.ConclusionThis activity could be used as an introductory one to the theme of human rights. Clearly, the exercise could be used insimilar ways about many other topics also. Its value is in encouraging people to think and talk about an issue in anactive, participatory manner.Possible StatementsKilling is wrong People should be allowed to criticise thegovernmentTorture is wrong.People should be allowed to talk to and meetanyone they wish.It is wrong to keep someone as a slave. It is wrong to force a person to work.After a certain age people should be able to marryor live with anyone they wishA person accused of crime should be tried bysomeone who has nothing to do with the case.People should be allowed to say or write whatthey wish.People should be allowed to travel and leave theircountry if they wish.All people should be treated equally. It shouldnot depend on such things as their sex, appearanceor the country that they are from.Private letters and telephone calls should not beintercepted.People in prison should be told why they arebeing held.People should be allowed to have, or not have,whatever religious beliefs they wish.
  17. 17. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"COMMUNICATION WITHOUT WORDSIntroductionSeveral exercises exist which can help people to consider some of the ways of communicating without words. Non-verbal communication can be powerful at any tirne. It becomes all the more important when working in an inter-cultural or multi-cultural context. Also, when working with those for whom language is difficult. Some people arevery aware of it and for others it is quite unconscious. It can be a real revelation for some people to see the usefulnessand power of such communication.Activities1. Birthday lineAsk people to stand. They are then told to form a line, from one end of the room to the other, based on theirbirthday. At one end is January and the other December. They have to do this without speaking in anylanguage. (Variations can be: first letter of first name, place of birth or living place: north to south, etc).2. Star sign actPeople should form groups based on their astrological sign. They are given a set amount of time - maybe threeto five minutes - to prepare a ten to twenty second demonstration of some characteristic of their sign. Theymust prepare without words and demonstrate without words also. (Variations are possible: people from thesame region perhaps).3. Walking togetherAsk each person to find a partner. Then ask them to stand at opposite sides of the room from each other. Theyshould concentrate on their partner and not on any other people. They should not speak. Tell them to walktowards each other and stop at a point that feels comfortable in relation to each other. Ask them to stay in thatposition for 15 seconds to see how it feels. Then ask them to take one step back from that position. Theyshould stand for 15 more seconds to see how that feels. Then ask them to move forward to where they werebefore and then take another step closer to each other. Stand in that position for 15 seconds and see how itfeels. Then ask them to sit with their partner and discuss what it felt like; if it was comfortable or not andanything else that they noticed. Do not ask too many other questions at this time.After some time, come back together as a large- group and ask for any reflections. Many issues will probablybe raised, if not you may like to raise them. For example:Were both people comfortable with the first position?Did height, gender, friendship, culture affect the feelings?What was the eye contact and body language like?You should then make some comments based on what you observed. Further discussion can take place onwhat has been leamt about eye contact, body language, individual and cultural differences and whether one canobserve and interpret correctly.4. The Three Minute StoryAsk people to form pairs. One person in each pair is person A and the other, person B. Explain that you willgive a card to each person, they should read it but not show or tell their partner. They will then do what is on the card.Give person A card 1 and person B card 2.CARD A CARD BPlease talk for the next three minutes toyour partner about your most recentholiday.While your partner speaks to you for thenext three minutes, please show non-verbally (without speaking) these twothings:
  18. 18. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"1. 2.that you like them very muchandthat you are sad(About half the time showing each one)3.Please talk to your partner for the nextthree minutes about a film, or a book,that you like very much.4.While your partner speaks to you for thenext three minutes, please show non-verbally (without speaking) these twothings:NervousnessAndAnger(About half the time showing each one)At the end of the three minutes ask people to stop and talk with each other about how they both feltand whether they could work out what was happening. Then give person A card 4 and person B card3, so that the positions are reversed. Follow thesame procedure. Three minutes, then discussion.At the end, back in the large group, ask for any general reflections and comments. Some points todraw out include:Is it easy or difficult to correctly see how another person is feeling?Can things be expressed non-verbally, without words?Does gender or culture affect any of these things?Can people learn to be more observant of non-verbal signals or is it intuitive?Some people may well still be stuck with some of the feelings they had during the exercise, so youshould get people to de-role (talk about something from their own life; move around and sit in adifferent place; do a light-hearted exercise and/or talk to a partner about these feelings to clear them).These cards can, of course, be changed. However less dm three minutes is not advised as real feelingscannot then arise.ConclusionThese are just four exercises amongst many on communication without words. They can raise many thoughts on theusefulness - and limitations - of this form of communication. They do highlight the impact that non-verbal signals haveon people and therefore the importance of striving to understand them.HEARING AND SEEINGIntroductionAn exercise designed to consider how much we really see of another person or hear from them and how much we areinfluenced by our own preconceptions and preoccupations.Process1. Do not alert people at the start to the nature of the exercise or they will not behave in a natural way.2. Ask people to form pairs. Ask each person in turn to talk for TWO minutes, without interruption, about thesame topic. You should chose the topic and tell them what it will be. It could be: your last holiday; what yourjourney was like today; your favourite film; refugees; drugs, your childhood etc.
  19. 19. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"3. Ask each pair to sit away from other people. Time the exercise. Tell them when two minutes has passed andwhen to finish after four minutes.4. At the end, ask them to turn back to back and give them the Observation Sheet. Allow time to complete theform. Do not allow people to turn around or to talk.5. Ask people to stop writing and either stay back to back and tell each other how they have answered eachquestion or turn and face each other and do the same. (No further writing is allowed). They can correct somethings and discuss.6. Back in the large group ask some questions:How many correct answers did most people get?Were some things generally easier for people to see than others?Do they think they noticed more or less than they usually do this time?If so, why might that have been?Was it easy to talk for two minutes without interruption?Was it easy to listen for that long without interrupting?What does the exercise say about the value of real listening and real seeing? What conclusions about personalinter-actions could be make?ConclusionThis exercise is a good introduction to any work on conflict or communication or any other topic relating to people andinter-actions. In a simple way it makes some very strong points about what we see and hear and what we dont and whythat might be so.OBSERVATION EXERCISEWHAT DID I OBSERVE WHEN LISTENING TO MY PARTNER?Fill in the answers to the following questions, do not turn around and look at your partner, do this on your own.1. What colour was your partners hair?2.· What length was his/her hair?3. Did you notice anything about what your partner did with his/her hands? If yes, say what.4. What colour were their eyes?5. What kind of shoes were they wearing?6. What colour were their socks?7. How were they sitting? Did they change position? If so, describe the change as well as how they were sitting.8. Describe any jewellery your partner was wearing.9. Did you notice any facial mannerisms?10. Describe the tone of voice and anything you noticed about their use of voice.LOOKING THROUGH FILTERED EYESIntroductionAn activity to get people thinking about and questioning some of their own perceptions.
  20. 20. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Process1. Explain that the purpose of the activity is to draw a mental map which will generate discussion about why wehave different impressions of places.2. Split into small groups of three or four who should complete the task together.3. Depending on the-group, ask each group to draw a map from memory of:a) a named country in the world;b) the area within a kilometre of the room you are in;c) the country you are in;d) a named place that people have some knowledge of.All groups should be given the same task, not different maps. You may choose to show them an example, likethe one enclosed here or one of your own making.4. Once completed, get groups to circulate to look at the maps of other groups. They should then discuss whatdifferences they noticed and why there were such differences.5. Back in the large group, use the experience of doing these drawing to discuss why different people see thesame things differently. Some of the possible reasons are:experiencefamilybackgroundculturebeliefsprioritiespersonalityagemedia etc..6. Then it may be possible to ask each person to draw an individual pair of glasses on large sheets of paper.Within the lenses of the glasses they should write what affects their own point of view. This acknowledges thefact that we each have our own perceptions. Our eyes are our filter through which we see the world.7. Variations are possible, for example, instead of doing the maps in groups, they could be done individually andthen shared in small groups.ConclusionThis exercise can be used as an introductory one or after doing some other work on images and perceptions. It couldalso be used on its own as a trigger for people to consider some of the ways in which they view the world.THE BRIDGEIntroductionA complex and interesting exercise that asks people to do a practical activity in groups to explore some issues ofcommunication and group dynamics.Process1. The Building:Ninety minutes is needed for the exercise and sixty minutes for the feedback and discussion. One personshould lead. People are split into two teams, preferably four to seven people in each. Volunteers are asked for,
  21. 21. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"to be observers, one or two in each team. Two separate rooms are needed and a third neutral place. Each teamor room is equipped with:One rulerOne pair of scissorsOne roll of sellotapeOne stick of glueSeveral sheets of White PaperSeveral small sheets of card (varied thicknesses and colours)An old newspaperSome coloured crayons or pencilsTwo or three buttons (or other round objects)A pencilA small piece of coloured materialJust before giving the instructions, explain that there is no right or wrong; good or bad way of doing this andthat people will not be judged. The observers will be there to observe how the task is completed and howpeople inter-act. Explain the rules.The rulesYou will work in two different teams. Together you must build one bridge, each team will build one half of it. At theend of the exercise we will put the two halves together to make the bridge.The two teams will work in two separate rooms and will not see each other.Contacts between the two teams can be made by a delegate of each team. The two delegates will meet in a neutral placefor 3 minutes maximum. They can have 3 meetings in total.The two halves of the bridge must meet in the middle of the bridge span.The bridge span must be at least 15 cm long. When the two halves are put together it will not be possible to use glue orany kind of material to stick them together.The quality of the bridge will be judged according to its STABILITY, BEAUTY AND CREATIVITY. It shall hold apencil laid in the middle.You can only use the materials which are on your table.You can not put questions to the observers or the leaders of the exercise.You have 90 minutes to do this exercise.When a delegate wants to meet another he/she must announce him/herself by knocking at the door or at the wall of theother team or by asking the leader of the exercise to arrange the meeting. Only the leader may attend this meeting. Itshould be strictly timed.The observersYou will observe one team.You shall not talk to the participants or anyone else or answer any questions they may put to you.It is recommended that you take notes.Observe in particular the following:- How did the group start its work?- Who took the initiative?- How was the delegate chosen?
  22. 22. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"- How does the group manage time? Who keeps track of the watch?- Is there a facilitator in the group, or someone who moderates the discussion,proposes solutions or consensus?- How are the tasks shared?- Is everybody doing something? Are there people who are not interested or havenothing to do/to say?At the end of the ninety minutes announce that the Bridge will be put together, in the neutral place, in two minutes. Putit together and test with a pencil. A thirty minute break is recommended before proceeding to the feedback anddiscussion.2. The Feedback:At the start stress again that judgments of good/bad and right/wrong are not the aim. This feedback needs tobe fairly tightly structured. Start by asking one team to speak, then their observers, then the other team andobservers. Finally open to a broader discussion. The questions should follow this kind of pattern:Individuals in each teamHow did it feel? (Being asked to do;Doing;Working together)Do you think you were a good team?Did you each share?Did someone lead?Did anyone withdraw? Say nothing?Did different people have different roles? and tasks?Who started things?How was the delegate chosen?Did anybody watch time?Who proposed solutions/compromises?Was anybody bored or disinterested?Did you focus on task all the time or ever talk about relationships?Was communication good? Were there arguments?Were you pleased with the end result?Was it a success? Why, do you think?ObserversHow did you feel as observers?What did you observe about group dynamics, communication, working as a team etc?Eye contact? Body language?Did you try to be involved and a part of things even though you couldnt speak?GeneralHow much time was spent planning?How much time was spent constructing/doing?How much time was spent evaluating/assessing?
  23. 23. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Have you learnt anything about:yourself?others in your group?group dynamics?exercises like this?being observed?ConclusionEncouraging people to be honest about their reactions to the exercise and to others will not only make the feedbackmore interesting but will bring to life the whole point of the activity. about the diversity of individual needs and skillsand reactions and how these can be blended together or not - in a team, a group or a society. Different people havedifferent roles. Some may become leaders, others followers, others outsiders. These may change over a period of time.Really accepting difference, even if it is difficult is vital in the exercise, but also in Society at large.Variations are possible. The task can be different. With larger groups, thirty maybe, two groups should be formed witha leader for each and then two teams created within each group. More than seven working as a team and two observingis not recommended. The time should not be shortened, otherwise it becomes just a task and the relationships andgroup dynamics cannot develop.Much may well be stirred up by this exercise, providing people with motivation to explore some of the issues further.SILENT WALL OR FLOOR DISCUSSIONIntroductionA way of getting a group to consider some issues by interacting with each other without talking. This exercise can beespecially helpful for people who take some time to consider their reactions or for whom speaking in a large group isdifficult. It can be a very useful introductory exercise to a topic.TaskEverybody sits in a U-form in front of the paper on the wall or in a circle around the paper on the floor. An image orcartoon or photograph is placed in the centre. People are told to react to it in any way they wish to.After the explanation everybody is silent. If you want to express an opinion you have to do this in writing. All yourideas, opinions, etc. have to be put on paper. You can also respond to something that has been written by somebodyelse. You can give counter-arguments, make links, ask questions etc.It is alright if two or more people are writing at the same time. The ground rule is: NOBODY SPEAKS!Material- large pieces of cardboard or paper;- thick markers or pens;- paper tape;- slogan, photograph, cartoon or some other stimulus to discussion.Task of facilitator- Explain the aim and the method;- Indicate that the discussion ends after ten minutes or at the moment that nobody is writing any more;- After the silent session it is possible to continue by a verbal discussion;- Put the image/cartoon/quotation in the centre.For example: CHILD SOLDIER PHOTOGRAPH.or INTEGRATION CARTOON
  24. 24. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"ConclusionSome questions can be posed, and a verbal discussion could take place, afterwards. These can explore the topic of thesession and peoples thoughts and feelings about it and/or their thoughts and feelings about the silent discussionapproach.STEREOTYPESIntroductionAn activity designed to allow people to consider the power and influence of stereotypes as well as their legitimacy.Also to consider something of the feelings minority and majority groupings may have in relation to these stereotypes.Process1. The group should be asked to take a sheet of paper each and divide it into four squares.Participants are then asked to write down four items relating to Cultural Differences, Stereotypes andMinorities.
  25. 25. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"a) Stereotypes of majority people(s) in your home country;b) Stereotypes of Minorities in your home country;c) A time where you felt as a minority and how did it make you feel;d) A thne when you felt like a majority (and there were minorities present) and how did that make youfeel.2. Ask people to form small working groups of 3 or 4 people to share and discuss their answers to thesequestions. Suggest that maybe each person should do part a) first, then part b) etc, to encourage a flow ofopinions in the group. People can ask further questions of each other if they wish.3. Back in the large group some general feedback can be taken and/or a few questions could be posed. Forexample:- What might be the root of stereotypes?- Do they have any validity?- What are the positive and negative results of them?- Can minorities and majorities learn anything from the way the other group feels?- How can communication between groups be improved?ConclusionSome further investigation of the power of stereotypes and the feelings of a minority group can follow, perhapsfocussing specifically on one minority group as an example. It is important to draw out positive aspects and to developideas for improvements as well as looking at the difficulties and problems.BLAMETwo participative exercises, that link together, exploring the consequences of blaming others.IntroductionAn example, perhaps from a family, school or youth group situation, could be given to introduce the topic of blame.This may involve blaming an individual continually, or a group of people repeatedly, for things that go wrong.Activity 1: The silent ActSmall groups - of 3 to 5 people - should be formed. Each group is asked to prepare a short presentation - or act - toeveryone else of a situation from ordinary life that shows something of a person or group of people being blamedunfairly. They will have to give a 1-2 minute presentation with no talking. They, therefore, must act out the situationclearly enough for people to see what is happening. Ten to fifteen minutes should be enough for the preparation time.Following the presentations some points could be made about the type of situations shown. Some links could also bemade to the larger-scale problem of blaming in the national or global context. Group members themselves should beencouraged to do this.Inter-linking discussionSome questions could be asked:Which groups of people are most likely to be blamed for problems in this locality/region/country/othercountries?What might be the consequences of constant blaming?
  26. 26. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"This could be done in the form of a brainstorm. All answers are written down on a board or sheets, without discussion.Alternatively, it could be done in the form of an open discussion in the large group or smaller ones.A poster or image - such as Us and Them - could be shown for pair or small group or large group discussion.Activity 2: The story of blamePairs should be formed and given five or ten minutes to prepare a one minute story, to be told to the rest of the group.The story should describe a situation in which someone or some people are blamed for something. It should focusmostly on the consequences of the blaming. A sheet of images like the Sheet of Blame, from the Federation YouthDepartment pack: What have 1 done to deserve this?, as clues to the type of consequences that could result, may alsobe given out at this time.Each pair should be allowed to make their presentation of their story in turn. Time should be available for all pairs todo their one minute. Some pairs may,wish to dramatize their stories.Afterwards, some points could be made about the types of consequences illustrated by the stories.ConclusionThese two activities could open the way for some further exploration about the treatment of minority groups and theroots of conflict. Images like Us and Them could be used to stimulate further discussion.CAR PARKIntroductionThis exercise is designed to explore the ways in which prejudice affects our options ineveryday life. In this context it addresses issues specifically related to HIV infection andsexual orientation.
  27. 27. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"MethodsIn a large room or car park (hence the title) ask participants to line up, and give eachparticipant a card on which is written one of the following roles. They are not to disclosethis until the end of the exercise.- a gay man who is HIV antibody positive- a gay man with AIDS- a 34 year old male white wealthy occasional cocaine user- a 32 year old white female prostitute who is HIV antibody positive- a heterosexual married man- a heterosexual married woman- a 24 year old black female prostitute- a lesbian- a pregnant HIV antibody positive woman- a pregnant woman- an IRV antibody positive bisexual married man- a single woman with AIDSWhen they are lined up and in role, read out each of the following questions explaining thatif they can answer "yes" to that question they are to take one step forward. If "no" they areto remain where they are. They must answer "yes" or no.Suggested questionsAre you able to:join a health insurance scheme?become a political candidate?obtain life insurance?expect sympathy from your doctor when you are ill?lead an active social life?adopt a child?go abroad on holiday?work abroad?obtain a loan to buy a house?expect fair treatment from the police?work in a childrens nursery?have the sex you want when you want it?kiss your lover in public?plan 20 years ahead?get medical help when you need it?feel safe walking the streets after dark?get support from society?get free condoms if you want them?have a home help if you need one?expect sympathy from your family?be honest with your colleagues?have security in your employments plan a family?
  28. 28. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"get dental care when you want it?marry your partner?expect to die where and as you would like?Stay in role and in place. One by one ask participants to disclose the role they had assumed and totalk about how they felt. About themselves and about the people in front of, and behind, them.You may also ask if there were any particular questions which struck them or made them feelsomething in particular.Allow some tirne to de-role (see Communication without words) and then, back in seats, open to abroader discussion. The following could be discussed:How different people react to similar circumstances and why.The restrictions imposed on them by those roles defmed in terms of sexual orientationand HIV infection.What they have learned about the restrictions imposed on individuals by sexualorientation and HIV infection.ConclusionThis can be a powerful awareness-raising exercise on disadvantage and discrimination. Variationsare possible: the characters and questions can change according to the group and what you aretrying to achieve. This one focuses on HIV/AIDS, it could focus more on racism or disability forexample.CREATURES OF CONFLICTIntroduction:The word conflict means many different things to different people.This exercise will help to see what it means to people here.The Exercise:1 . Each person should be given a large (flipchart size) sheet of paper. Various paints, crayons, pens, pencils,newspapers, magazines, glue, etc, should be placed in the middle of the room.Encourage people to use their imagination, creativity, feelings to create an image of a creature that representshow they see conflict. It can be a real or imaginary creature. They should try not to think too much about itbut just do something and see what happens. (They do not have to be artists and they will not have to showtheir creations to everyone).2. Once complete, form pairs. People can choose whether to show their creature to their partners or not. Theyshould, however, discuss what images came to mind and what feelings it brought up for them. They can thengo on to discuss what thoughts this leads them to have about conflict.3. Back in the large group, some general questions can be asked:- How did it feel being asked to do the task?- How did it feel doing it?- How did it feel talking/sharing about it?- How many had positive and negative elements in their creatures?- What insights do you now have about conflict and yourself.)(People can show their creatures if they so wish).
  29. 29. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"4. Show the group the other creatures and ask them whether they can see how each creature might say somethingabout conflict. (This can also be done in pairs or maybe small groups of three or four people).ConclusionSome of the issues to raise include: the broad meaning of the word; personal and global conflict; positive as well asnegative forms of conflict; how we each respond to conflict situations and what can reasonably be done in a conflictsituation.This exercise should precede an exercise looking at strategies for action. It should not stand alone.UNDERLYING ANGERIntroductionA written exercise about what underlies anger. To encourage participants to consider and express what lay beneath aninstance of personal anger.Process1. Ask everyone to write down (in one sentence) a situation in their life where they felt really angry. Forexample: I felt angry when my contribution in a meeting was ignored. (2 min).2. Explain that a layer of hurt very often underlies anger. Ask everyone to write a sentence about the hurt behindtheir anger in the instance they have thought of.Example:I felt hurt because it seemed that nobody valued my opinion. (2 min).3. The reason for the hurt is often an unmet need. Ask everyone to write a sentence covering their needs in thesame instance. For example: I need to be accepted and valued by my colleagues. (2 min).4. Alongside the need are often fears. Ask participants to think about what fears might have been behind theiranger and write a sentence about them. For example: I have a fear that 1 wont be able to win my colleaguesrespect. (2 min).5. Participants turn to a partner and share their sentences with them. If anyone has had difficulty with theexercise, their partner can help them unravel their feelings. (10 min).6. Some questions can be posed afterwards: What is the value of understanding the substructure of anger? Inwhat ways could it help you? How might communities or groups have the same sub-structure of anger? (15min).(Anger and hurt are often two sides of the same coin. It is an important step in facing the anger of others toknow what lies beneath our own anger. This exercise is a way of discovering some of the hurt, needs and fearsunderlying a personal experience of extreme anger. If we can identify the fears that lie at the roots of anger,either our own or that of others, we can begin addressing those fears rather than remaining caught up in theoutward emotion).ConclusionExercises, like this one, that link personal reflection with broader issues can be a useful tool in developing someempathy for the situation of others as well as offering people a chance to look a little more deeply at some of the rootsof conflict.STATES OF TENSIONIntroductionIndividual, pair and group work exploring how situations are influenced by personal energy levels. To explore therange of energy levels any individual can utilize, and how these levels can change the way people respond to us. Tolook at ways of using the energy we have, and exploring levels that we find difficult to reach.
  30. 30. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Process1. Introduce the purpose of this exercise and describe the six different levels of tension:a. SLOTH/COLLAPSE. A state of no energy, just about awake but unable to move or speak clearly.b. LAID BACK/VERY COOL. Using the least energy possible for the situation: slow speech and movement.C. EVERYDAY/ONE OF THE CROWD. A "normal" energy level: you wouldnt be noticed walking down thestreet - nothing unusual about you at all.d. BUSINESSLIKE/ORGANISED. Slightly unrelaxed, slight tension: going about a task that needs to becompleted.e. WORRY/TENSION. Unrelaxed and tense, slight panic creeping in: things are not going according to plan.f. PANIC/HYPERACTIVITY. Growing into real panic - pulling out all the stops.Ask each participant to explore for themselves what their idea of each level is. Using all the space, get the group tostand up and give them a specific task such as walking to the station to catch a train. Start from level a. and remindthem of each level as you slowly take them through to f.In groups of six or as the whole group, depending on confidence levels, ask two volunteers to role-play to the rest. Thegroup decides what level of tension each character is at and gives them a situation in which to interact, such as standingin a queue hoping to get tickets. During the role-play, the group can freeze the actors and change the tension levels,then unfreeze them and observe what effect the change has.In groups of six, the participants are given a line on a card - for example, "what do you think you are doing?" In turnthey enter the space and say the line, each using a different energy level.2. Feedback and discussion: What moods came across using the same line six times? What effect could energylevels have on a specific situation? When are certain levels more appropriate than others?Try to find out which levels people found easiest to use, and why they found certain levels difficult to reach oruncomfortable to use. Different people will have different ideas about each energy level and what it means tothem. There are no rights or wrongs.3. This exercise can be developed further by considering, or acting out, how peoples response may be differentaccording to the energy level used. Small groups could be asked to prepare and show a situation wheredifferent energy levels produce different reactions and end results.ConclusionThese states of tension are often noticed subconsciously by people and they can produce remarkably different effects.Any communication between people can be improved by some understanding of theseforces.UNDERSTANDING CONFLICTA short introductory exercise to the theme of conflict, looking at some of the underlying causes; some of the positiveand negative aspects and possible ways of reacting.IntroductionThis activity combines some imaginative elements with other more theoretical inputs as a way of getting a group to startunderstanding conflict, including some of the broad dynamics of conflict, whether on a personal or local level or on agroup or international one.MaterialsColoured paper; envelopes; large sheets; scissors; sellotape; the Iceberg; little creatures and conflict statements. (Thelast three are included in the pack).
  31. 31. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Process1 . An-example should be given - or asked for from the group - of how an individual conflict can escalate fromvery small beginnings. It should show how silent dislike, lack of understanding or disrespect can graduallydevelop, from ignoring someone, to talking about them or arguing with them, to physical attack, to drawingothers in on either side, to solid, set attitudes and behaviour. An imaginary example could start fromsomebody disliking someone based on the clothes they wear or the colour of their hair.2. The Iceberg of conflict should be shown. The iceberg represents the fact that for every incident of conflict thecauses are often hidden beneath the surface. The group should be asked what the causes might be. A listincluding the following will probably result: anger, hurt, fear, lack of knowledge, jealousy, etc. someexplanation should be given that only if the things beneath the surface are looked at will there be a real chanceof resolving the conflict.3. An envelope should be given to each person. It should contain: one sheet of coloured paper; one of the thirteenlittle creatures (these should be used in pairs - if there are 12 participants, six creatures should be used; if thereare 30 participants, all thirteen should be used and four extra ones) and Statements 1 and 2 in two differentlanguages (the mother tongue of, and languages commonly used by, the participants should not be used).People are asked not to open the envelope until all the instructions have been given. At least two spareenvelopes should be casually placed on the front table.4. The three tasks are explained. These are:1) to create a shape with the piece of paper (by cutting, folding, tearing, drawing etc) that sayssomething about one of the things that are beneath the surface of conflict. This should then beattached to a sheet on the wall;2) to choose Statement 1 or--2 and sign your name under 1 or 2 on a sheet with these numbers written onthe wall;3) to look at your little creature and think what it says to you about conflict. Then to find the other oneor two people with the same creature and explain to them your thinking about it.5. Then the three rules are explained. They are:1) there is to be no talking, in any language, at any time, during the exercise;2) all three tasks must be completed in ten minutes;3) everybody in the room must take part.6. Ten minutes should be allowed for the exercise. You will need to time it and ensure that the rules are kept.Please note that task 2 will prove difficult because nobody has the statements in their own language and task 3because they must find their partner(s) and explain their thinking without talking. Watch carefully howpeople react and behave.7. At the end of the time, ask each person in turn to come and show their shape and in one sentence explain itsmeaning for them. Then show Statements 1 and 2 in their own language(s) - and explain their meaning, ifnecessary - and ask why people signed for each. (You could also comment on whether people looked at theStatements of others or shared them or just struggled on their own. Also, ask whether anyone thought oflooking in one of the extra envelopes at the front? Remind them that there were only three rules - nothing saidthey couldnt look at each others statements or in the spare envelopes!). Finally, ask whether people were ableto understand their partner(s) explanation of the creature and whether it was easy or hard to connect it withconflict and explain it without words?8. Ask for some reflections on the exercise and make some yourself. These could include comments on thevariety of shapes (and reasons for them). The ease - or not of communicating without words. The feelingsassociated with not understanding words/statements/tasks. The usefulness of using imaginative processes aswell as more rational ones. Whether any positive aspects of conflict emerged. If any ways of reacting toconflict were highlighted. A broader discussion on some of these issues could follow.ConclusionMany issues could be raised here that could be developed further, especially in the areas of
  32. 32. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"conflict prevention or conflict resolution.IMAGES OF WARIntroductionAn activity to stimulate thinking and discussion about some of the things that could happen in a war situation and someof the ways an individual or an organization can react to them.ProcessHave a selection of pictures or photographs, like the ones shown here or others that you have gathered, ready to use totrigger some thoughts. Either ask people to form pairs or trios and give each group some different images to look atand discuss. Alternatively, you could use the Silent Discussion technique explained earlier, this time with peopleworking silently in small groups or allowing people to move around the room looking at five or six images anddiscussion sheets.Whichever option you choose, ask people to consider some of the following questions:What is happening in the image?What do you think happened before?What do you think should happen now?Imagine yourself in the situation of one of the characters involved, what might your feelings and thoughts be?What might an individual or an organization be able to do to ensure fair treatment?Other questions could be raised depending on the image, the group and the nature of the issues you are trying to dealwith.After some time in pairs or small groups ask each group to explain something of their image and their thinking to therest of the group. (They should have been told at the start that they would be asked to do this). They can do this bydescription, story, writing on a board or something more dramatic or creative. The choice is theirs.A broader discussion on the issues raised can follow.This could lead into getting people to consider what rules or regulations might be helpful in this situation. This shouldnot be a test of their knowledge of what already exists but should arise from the discussions that have already takenplace.ConclusionAn activity like this has the advantage of allowing people to connect themselves with a situation or some individualsbefore investigating legalities and rules. If they come to see that legalities and rules might be necessary, and even cometo start thinking what they might be for themselves, before learning which rules already exist, then they will feel farmore connection with, and interest in, them.BOXING MATCHIntroductionA variation on the Four Corners activity, to stimulate discussion on specific issues.Process1. Write each of the four roles of characters, concerned with Boxing, on flipchart sheets and place one in eachcorner. The four are:RefereeSecond (man who mops the brow of the boxer between rounds)Cleaner (who washes and cleans the ring afterwards)Anti-boxing agitator
  33. 33. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"2. Explain the roles to the group in simple terms if necessary. Ask everyone to stand in the middle of the room.Then ask them which of these four characters most represents the role they think the Red Cross should take ina time of conflict. Although elements of all four may seem relevant, they must opt for one of the four as themost appropriate. Nobody can stand in the middle or hover between positions. They must make a decision.3. When everyone has selected their corner, ask them to form pairs, preferably with someone from anothercorner, though if this not possible, someone from their own corner. Get them to discuss with their partner whythey think their choice of role to be most appropriate. Mey can also consider why others may have opted fortheir corner, but should focus on their own decision).4. It is possible, back as a whole group, then to ask one representative from each corner to explain briefly theirchoice to others. Further discussion at this time is also possible.5. This trigger to thinking on the issue can be followed by supplementary statements being read following theusual Four Corners format. (his has as the four choices: Agree strongly; Agree a little; Disagree a little andDisagree strongly). A variety of statements can be used on the theme of the role of the Red Cross. However itis suggested that four to six statements are more than enough for a session.Other statements could be:The Movement should much more actively try to prevent wars and disasters as well as react to them.The ICRC should go public if it knows horrific war crimes are being committu and nobody else knows aboutthem.The ICRC should speak out to get prisoners released if it feels they were wrongly imprisoned.The ICRC should concern itself with conflicts and leave the Federation and National Societies to do disasterand development work.The public should be made aware of the differences between the ICRC, Federation and National Societies andnot to be allowed to think of the Movement as one.The most important work of the ICRC is promoting the rules of war (i.e. Geneva Conventions, Protocols,emblem protection etc) more than any of its other actions (tracing, messages, visiting and relief).The ICRC - and the whole Movement - must change according to needs and circumstances or the times, or itwill become a relic of the past.6. The statements can, of course, be on any topic or range of topics and should be adapted for the particular groupthat you are working with.ConclusionThe Boxing Match analogy adds another - creative and imaginative - element to this exercise. Some further reflectionon the usefulness of thinking more creatively about issues or the appropriateness of the boxing analogy specificallycould also take place.SCARECROWHave an image of a Scarecrow for all to see.Translate into other languages to have a collection of words describing the Scarecrow.Some cultures may not have scarecrows, so some explanation will need to be given of its basic function.1 . Individuals are asked to consider what comes to mind for them when they see a scarecrow. They should thenbroaden and think how it could be linked to humanitarian education work.2. Each person should take small cards with the letters of SCARECROW printed on them (or the word in theirown language). They should then split the letters up and find words, starting with each letter, that describeimportant elements of the work of the Movement or of humanitarian education work in general.
  34. 34. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"3 . Form pairs to discuss their images and thoughts and explain their words.4. Some sharing of this could then take place in the big group, maybe putting words on paper on the wall. Thisshould bring out points about the essential elements of humanitarian education work and/or the work of theMovement.Variations are possible1 . Another creature, not a Scarecrow, could be chosen. Examples could be: Owl; Phoenix; Teddy Bear; Dove;Lioness, etc.2. The topic they are asked to think about could be one of many. For example: conflict; knowledge; prevention;rights and responsibilities; the world etc.CHANGEIntroductionAn exercise that provides a short, active demonstration of the effects of change on people.Methods1. Ask people to form pairs. They should put down papers, pens etc and move to an open space. They are told tostand opposite each other to look at the other person and notice things about them.2. They are told to turn back to back, so that they cannot see their partner. They are asked to change five thingsabout their appearance. Allow enough time for all individuals to complete this.3. Each person turns back to their partner and has to discover the five things the other person changed.4. Once complete, ask people to turn back to back again in the same pairs and to change five more things abouttheir appearance. Allow enough time for each person.5. They then turn to face each other again and discover what their partner changed.6. Once complete, ask people to turn back to back again in the same pairs and to change five more things abouttheir appearance.7. Stop the exercise and tell them that you were only joking about changing yet again! Allow everyone to returnto normal and their seats.Follow upTell people - if it is true, and it usually is - that they demonstrated within the exercise the seven dynamics of change. Socalled, from a 1970s psychological/sociological study. These state that in any circumstance where people are requiredto change (whether in their personal life or within an organization) they will go through seven reactions. Some peoplewill, of course, react more strongly to some parts than others. They also wont necessarily happen in any order.The seven dynamics are:1. People will feel awkward, ill-at-ease and self-conscious;2. People will think about what they have to give up (more than they will about what they might gain);3. People will feel alone even if everyone else is going through. the same change;4. People will be concerned that they dont have enough resources (time, money, skill, etc);5. People are at different levels of readiness for change;6. Too much change at once and people will rebel or give up;7. Take the pressure off, and people will revert back to old behaviour.
  35. 35. ...There is no path. Take the chance and make your own"Further DevelopmentIn pairs or small groups, people could be encouraged to thirik about their own "patterns of reacting to change. Thismight simply be to recognize their own behaviour. It might also be to develop strategies for developing alternatives.People could be encouraged to think about their own organization or group and consider how people may be reacting inthese ways. Strategies could be developed that could help people to manage change.Discussions could take place on other exercises that get across complex processes in simple, light-hearted and activeways. These could be demonstrated or developed.STOP! LETS START AGAIN!IntroductionAn activity that recreates some situations from real life and explores how we see things from different perspectives. Itthen goes on to look at how some changes of behaviour could completely change the end result.Process1. This exercise can either be done in small groups or in one big group. Three or four people should be asked -maybe in advance - to make up a short, simple sketch (or play) of a situation from their own experience toshow something of the way people who are different, are treated. (Alternatively, you can suggest in some waythe situation, though not the exact words and actions, and then they can create from there).2. The sketch should be presented to the others in the group. It should only take a minute or two. Then it stopsand you, or somebody in the group, says that we can start again if you did not like the words or actions in thesituation of some of the characters. A member from the audience can volunteer to take the place of one of theactors. (Only one should change at this time). The same situation is then re-played with some changes by thenew actor.3. After this another person can volunteer to take the place of an actor. After a few times it is possible to changetwo or three actors at the same time. The situation however needs to remain the same.4. At. one point you, or someone else, can add one small change to the situation. The sketch then has to beplayed with this change.5. After a certain amount of time or after enthusiasm fades away, stop the play and open to a general discussion.The following questions may be helpful:Were there changes to the end result each time? If so, what do you think happened to cause that?Did any particular behaviours change events?How do you think each character behaved?Would you have behaved like that in this situation?Are there any learning points from this about individual perspectives; the way people inter-act or anythingelse?6. Variations are, of course, pos!jble. A brief sketch can be presented first, with one or two changes and then onefrom the lives of the participants developed. Small groups could develop their own sketches and present themto the other groups, who become the audience. A particular topic could be stressed. Topics outside theexperience of the participants could be used. Many other adaptations are possible.ConclusionThis type of drama or theatre, developed from the ideas of the Argentinean Augusto Boal, originated from a desire toshow the behaviour of the oppressed and the oppressors. It is, therefore, very suitable for work on any topic connectedwith the vulnerable or accepting difference. It can really help people to start viewing things from the perspective ofothers and to encourage them to look at the effects of their own actions.