For items relating to popular education for union democracy, including blog entries, etc.

The Mute Button

Idea for an activity: in trios, one player is the couch potato, the other two are actors in a TV show. The actors improvise a dialogue. At any time, the couch potato can say, "mute!" as if hitting the mute button on a remote control. When s/he does that, the players continue their dialogue without any sound.

The players have to pay attention so that when the couch potato turns off the mute, they have something to say.

Liar's lecture

Based on the activity "Puro Cuento" in Técnicas Participativas Para la Educación Popular Vol. 1.

Joker gives pairs of participants 5 minutes to choose a short text -- about one-half to one page long. (The text needs to be available to all. A passage from a textbook, a handout prepared ahead of time, a webpage everyone can find on their phones...)

Listening game

I learned this from a student at Meiji University.

One person sits in the middle of the room surrounded by the other participants. S/he asks the group to think of one thing -- for example, their favorite musician. On the count of three, everyone calls out their answer at the same time. The person in the middle, who can ask the group to repeat their answers if necessary (again, all at the same time), listens carefully and then names all the musicians s/her heard, checking who said it. If s/he correctly hears all the items, s/he can choose the next person to sit in the middle.

Cut Text

Take a copy of a text.

Joker asks people in a group (or individually) to cut out paragraphs, sentences, clauses, words, until only the most essential content is left.

At each step the person cutting has to justify her/his choice to the others in the group. If they are not convinced, the cutter has to choose something else to cut.

Or, take a text, cut it up by paragraphs, shuffle them and ask groups to re-order them. (It may be possible to find an order that is different from the original, but still valid.)

So you mean...

An idea for an activity based on the game Um, what is...?. I got this idea from Yurie Kumakura.

In pairs, one person tells a story, or makes an argument. The listener stops her from time to time to confirm his understanding. "Okay, so you mean....?" If the listener is correct, the speaker confirms this and moves on. If not, she repeats or clarifies. This can be done in a serious way -- confirming the other person's argument -- or in a silly way, confirming (or misconstruing) the most obvious details.