This exercise helps delegates to explore the nature of a given topic. It helps generate a discussion around that topic and see how people view it differently. Through these discussions delegates can see if their views are markedly different from those of others and if so what it may suggest when they interact with others. The aim is to provide an insight into one’s own view of a given topic.
Think of a number of words related to a topic before selecting a subset.
What You Need
- Blanks cards
- Provide four blanks cards to each delegate.
- Ask delegates to think about a given topic. You should choose this topic based on the course and your training needs. For example, consider the following topics:
- Effective interpersonal communication
- Ask the delegates to think of 4 words that capture their thoughts about the topics. Ask them to write each word on a separate card. For example, a person may consider the following words associated with “conflict”:
- Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
- Ask delegates to write the 4 words on paper for future reference.
- Divide the delegates to groups of 3.
- Ask the groups to get together and show each other what they have chosen. It is likely that each person would choose a different set of words. Explain that each group must now choose 4 words from among the 12 words they have chosen between them that come to best describe the topic. This will create a discussion around the topic. The contrast between the selected words can kick start a discussion on the topic. For example, another person might have selected the following 4 words which is contrast with the list above:
- Allocate 10 minutes for this part.
- Bring back everyone together. Ask each group to present their 4 words to the class. Write their 4 words on a flipchart along with a group identifier.
- Once you have captured all words, encourage further discussions on why the words are different and what this suggests about how each group thinks about the topic. Focus on similarities as well as differences.
- Follow with a final discussion to wrap up.
Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes
Activity: 5 min choosing individually + 10 min choosing in a group + 10 min sharing with class = 25 minutes
Group Feedback: 5 minutes
How did this exercise help you learn about the “topic”? Were your ideas similar or different from those of others? Were you surprised about the differences of your views with others? Was it easy to select a subset of words when you were discussing the topic in your group? Did you feel intimidated, forced or pushed, or was the final choice the result of a healthy discussion to reach a common decision?
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