Metaphor Cards/Feelings Cards

Type of Activity:  Debriefing tool

Props Needed:  Metaphor Cards/Feelings Cards

Providing a tangible image upon which 

participants can attach their thoughts helps give their ideas substance and shape in quite profound depth. Metaphor Cards are useful as introductory activities, for processing a specific experience, for closure, or even as a tool to help participants resolve conflict. Metaphor Card Activities are appealing to participants, can be used in many different ways, and are appropriate for all age groups.

Concept:  Groups seem to go more in depth about their ideas and feelings when they attach their thoughts to a symbol or picture. Because participants share about a card rather than directly about themselves they are often more willing to share. Often more reserved members are drawn to expressing    themselves through the use of these symbols.

Process:  As an introductory activity participants can choose the card that best represents a strength they bring to

the group, or a goal they have for the day, course or program.

As a pre brief in the early parts of a program spread the cards out before the group and have them pick a card that best represents where they are at that moment. At the very beginning of the day/program, spread the cards out before the group and have them pick a card that best represents where they are at that moment.  Ask them how they are feeling and to pick a card that matches where they are mentally coming into the day.  Go around the group and ask each participant to share why they picked the card they did and why that card represents them or where they are.  If you start the day with this activity, it is good to end the day with this same activity.

As a end of program debrief spread the cards out before the group and have them pick a card that best represents an experience or a feeling that they had during the activity or at the end of the day.  You can do this at the end of the day or after an activity.  Go around the

group and ask each participant to share why they picked the card they did and why that card represents them or an experience they have had. Participants can each pick their own card, then draw it or write about in their journal.

Group Consensus:  The group is given the task of deciding on one card that best represents what they achieved as a group. This is a great method for groups that are ongoing or have been together for a period of time. The outcome can be very rich.

The process of deciding on just one card involves participants sharing about their ideas relating to many different cards and making an argument for their  interpretation. The dialogue can be very profound with this method.

Social Skills:  Another fun way to use the feelings cards are to have everyone pick a card with the picture side up a

nd not look at the feeling word on the back side.  Have them place the card to their forehead-word side out-and try to guess what feeling they have on their forehead by everyone else's reaction to them.  Participants may say things to each other in order to help them figure out what their word is, but they cannot say the word that is shown.  This is a great way to teach verbal social skills, non-verbal social skills, and how people react around others when they are exuding a certain feeling.

Feeling Card Activities:

  • You can use Feelings Cards if a participant is having trouble describing the feelings they are experiencing.  Spread the feelings words out and let them pick out a word that best describes what they are feeling.  Go around the group and let each person share why they chose the word they did.
  • You can also use Feelings Cards for a sharing circle.  Have each participant choose a card and tell the

  •  group about a time when they experienced that feeling.
  • Use Feelings Cards as a social skills builder.  Invite everyone pick a card with the feeling word face down.  Have them place the card to their forehead-word side out-and try to guess what feeling they have on their forehead by everyone else's reaction to them.  Participants may say things to each other in order to help them figure out what their word is, but they cannot say the word that is shown.  This is a great way to teach verbal social skills and non-verbal social skills, and how people react around others when they are in different moods.

 

 

 

For more resources see:  A Teachable Moment, Metaphor Cards Handout, Metaphor/Feelings Cards

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