There are several techniques that I have used in my work that are not full blown activities, just tools that you can use as you work.
By Matt Noyes. Adapted from "See, Hear, Feel" in Educating for Change
To generate a concrete definition of union democracy that is meaningful to people; to get past easy, abstract generalizations about democracy that block the definition of real, achievable, measurable goals; to hear from each individual and also create a group definition of union democracy; to flush out any "hotspots" -- points of intense interest, disagreement or controversy.
By Matt Noyes. Adapted from Educating for a Change.
Talking about what we don't want can be the quickest, most concrete path to defining our goals. This activity challenges people to clarify and express their goals in a creative way.
Brainstorming what it would look like if, instead of your goals, your worst nightmares were realized.
Materials/Prep: flip chart or blackboard, markers, chalk
Number of People: Flexible, probably not more than 30 or so.
By Matt Noyes, adapted from Tecnicas Participativas Para la Educacion Popular, Tomo I, in collaboration with Nadia Marin Molina of the Workplace Project/Centro Pro Derechos Laborales.
By Matt Noyes, from a workshop with Leon Rosenblatt
This is a spur of the moment role play where participants and educators act out the actions and problems they have been discussing, with no preparation or script.
By Matt Noyes; the cuento vivo technique on which this is based comes from Alforja, Tomo I.
One of the problems with Robert's Rules is that most union members have little or no experience with using them. Using a "Cuento Vivo" (live story) technique, this activity has people act out a scene from a union meeting. The scripted parts help people practice the language and shows how the rules can be used.
No popular education technique has spread as far and wide as this one. I first learned it from Eleonora Castano Ferreira and Joao Castano Ferreira, thanks to Maureen LaMar at the old International Ladies Garment Workers Union Worker-Family Education Program. To my mind the authoritative version is the one found in Volume 2 of Alforja's Tecnicas Participativas Para La Educacion Popular.
By Matt Noyes, Charley MacMartin, Nick Bedell, Emily Schnee, and Roberta Silver. (Inspired by a chart comparing teaching approaches from Training for Transformation, but without the didactic "here's what we want you to think” approach.)