A writing activity in which people are asked to describe a memory in terms of the five senses.
I learned this from Emily Schnee and rely on it, especially for academic courses I teach. The form is simple, an interview activity with a report back and a chart to collect the information. But the content is rich: how have we learned well, what does that tell us about how learning is best done, what does that say about teaching and how it is best done? Starting with a skill also helps people recognize themselves as people who have skills and know how to learn, rather than starting where most education starts, with people's ignorance and lack of skill.
A nice way to dig under obvious truths. I learned the basic technique here from Emily Schnee, from whom I learn so much. I have found that many students experience this as a revelation because it calls on them to question again and again when they are typically called on to give one answer.
Take a simple statement of an identity (I am a teacher), or a problem (I don't have enough time to do work I want to do), or just about any simple sentence (slugs leave a trail)...
The player says her/his sentence out loud, then one person asks "why?"
I have always liked the "seed poem" device that this introductory activity uses. I learned it from Emily Schnee in a course we co-taught at the old ILGWU Worker-Family Education Program. We did it as a writing activity. I don't know where she got it. This activity answers several needs at once: it is a good speaking, listening, writing activity; it is creative and uses the whole body; it combines pair and whole group work; it works across levels; it is a good way to begin identifying generative themes.