How great to have this labor and social history teaching resource online for free. I hope others will add new lessons and comments. I still recall the time I did the Organic Goodie activity with IBEW apprentices -- a huge guy finally stood up and seized "the machine", holding it high above his head (far out of my reach). The question: what to do next?
In this activity people use illustrations of others to introduce themselves through comparison and contrast. I have used images by Joe Sacco from Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, but it would also be interesting to use images of historical figures (known or unknown), literary figures, objects (a cactus, a fish net, a wave), etc.
Hand out pictures randomly (or lay on table for self-access).
Shiho Ide, a participant in my Tokyo English for Activists class, came up with this nice way to do introductions.
Standing in a circle.
The first participant introduces herself, saying her name and what she would like others to call her. She then chooses another person who must ask her a question, any question. After the first person answers the question, the second person repeats the process.
I learned this game at Kani Club, the theater improvisation group in Tokyo, Japan. The game asks participants to filter their free association through their sense of what others might say. The object is to avoid "idiocy" -- in the sense of being isolated in one's thinking. At the same time, the "idiotic" answers are often reasonable or creative.
Adapted from "Busca tu cancion" in 101 juegos musicales. See also I second that (e)motion.
The joker writes down three to 10 emotions on index cards, two cards per emotion. (One set of three if you have an odd number of participants.) There should be as many cards as participants.
Shuffle the cards, keeping them face down, and have people pick a card, keeping it hidden from others.
Slightly adapted from "Busca tu cancion" in 101 juegos musicales.
Choose three or four songs that are probably known to everyone in the group and write each song's title on two index cards. (Or ask each participant to choose a song that they think everyone will know, writing the title on two index cards.) You should have as many cards as participants. (For odd numbered groups, add an extra card for one song.)
Shuffle the cards and have participants each choose one card, being careful not to show it to others.
In this self-assessment activity you use a partner to represent yourself. This requires you to articulate your self-assessment clearly and respectfully, and perhaps more objectively?
The first person speaks to the other as if speaking to him/herself. The task is to assess one's one participation in an activity, meeting, class, etc. The second person stands in as the "self" to whom the first person is speaking, listening actively, only asking clarifying questions.
In this activity a "client" enters an Argument Clinic like the one in the famous Monty Python sketch.
As in the original, one person is the client, the other the Arguer. Also as in the original, there is a time limit.
The objective is simple: to argue just for the sake of arguing. No need to repeat the Monty Python sketch, just feel free to be disagreeable, contentious, contrary.
The Flattery Clinic: Client enters room. Greets flatterer. Flattery ensues. Time limit.
Two variations by Lo Manho, with a few adjustments by MN.
“Beat the fears”
- Joker separates the class into two groups: Demons and People.
- The Demons have to make a list of twenty five things that the people in this particular learning group (e.g. university students, Sanitation workers) strongly fear, writing each fear on a separate index card. Ideally it should be something specific to that group, but people should feel free to name basic human fears, like death, too.
Variation by Hirabayashi Shunichi, with a few adjustments by MN.
Make a list of fears in advance, to save time. From the list, players vote for the top 10 fears that they have. Of course, they can add another words not on the list, but the number of fears should be the same as the number of demons.
Divide the participants into two groups. One group is the people, the other is the Demons. Each Demon will choose one fear to represent, keeping this secret from “the people.” The Demons will draw masks that somehow express – without words or symbols – the fear that they represent.