Compare yourself

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).

Introductions - ask me a question

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.


Talking to Ourselves

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?

In pairs.

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.

Oni ha Soto! Variation 2: Beat the Fears

Two variations by Lo Manho, with a few adjustments by MN.

“Beat the fears”

  1. Joker separates the class into two groups: Demons and People.
  2. 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.

Oni ha Soto! Variation 1

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.