An engaging activity to address group dynamics through creativity and not only words, using objects and your hands.
Ask each participant to think about the group and about the path, the way it has developed up to this moment. Everyone (individually) uses the material to build a symbolic representation of the whole group. Everybody shows their object: they can only say its title, without commenting on the objects of the others. Ask the participants to create small groups of 5-6 people. Each small group must create a new representation of the group. The group can decide to use everything or just a part of the objects made by the individual participants in the group, or they can do something completely new.
The participants are invited to think about what they want to create (how they think the group should be represented) before they start to build it. At the end of the activity, each group shows its own product and answers the questions from the participants and the facilitator to clarify the work.
Debriefing about: the final products (what images of the group we came up with), the process itself, the process of decision-making within the group.
There is the possibility to either support or trigger participants in decision-making by offering them to choose a specific role among those given by the facilitator, when starting the group phase (see list of roles at p. 135 of ISSE manual).
Use manual creativity to discuss and recognize internal group dynamics and to reflect together on the identities of a group. Practicing collective decision-making, collaboration, flexibility, all important elements for the sustainability of an SSE initiative.
Already established groups (either groups of participants in the training, or members of the same cooperative).
Background and where it has been employed
Developed within “ISSE - Community Works” Erasmus+ project. It has been used once when testing the activity, during a local event in Athens with a mixed group, some experts on SSE and on NFE, some total beginners.
Plenty of varied materials, preferably reused, to build objects: scissors, glue, tape, paper, cardboard, fabric, wool filaments, straw, paper box, crepe paper, markers, pencils, eraser, glasses, dishes, etc... Sheet of paper with roles to facilitate the group work (see annexes of the manual) A relatively big space for participants to work alone, initially.
Links and downloads
Download the full ISSE Training Manual: the description of the activity is at p. 66.
Partnership of “ISSE:Community Works” project funded by Erasmus+ (activity proposed by Vedogiovane from Italy)