Back to Back

Type of Activity: Get to Know You

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Need a good size area to move around in. Plays well with 12 to 25 (or more) for 15 to 25 minutes.

Process: This is a simple technique used to get acquainted with others more personally. Back-to-Back also works very well to quiet a group down – most people standing back-to-back don’t talk to each other (it’s a great technique to use when you need the groups attention). Ask everyone to stand back-to-back with one other participant (even numbers work best for this). You’ll notice the noise level of the group go down. While the participants are standing back-to-back give the group a discussion question (open-ending question) like, “Discuss the type of car you drive (or would like to be driving)” or “Describe the perfect meal.”  Then you will say, “Face-to-face!” At this point everyone walks to a NEW partner to discuss the question – they do not discuss the question with the person they were back-to-back with. (Make sure to provide a designated space for participants to find each other if needed – the center of the room works best.) With their new partner they discuss the question given until they hear, “Back-to-back!” again. At this time, participants turn back-to-back with the person they were just talking to and wait for the next discussion question or instructions.

Example Questions: What would you do with a million dollars? Where would you like to go on your next vacation? Describe your dream house. What would you ask the President if you had 5 minutes of his time? What would you like to be doing 5 years from now? If you had a day off (from school or work) what would you do? If you could change one thing about school/work, what would it be? Describe the scariest thing that ever happened to you? What was the last thing you did to help another person? What would you like to learn how to do and why? If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be and what would you talk about?

Debrief Topics:

  • Did you find any commonalities? Where they easy to find?

For original write up purchase "The Empty Bag" by Cavert and Hammond.  

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