Just One Word

Type of Activity: Frontloading and Processing

Props Needed: None

Set Up: Need “sitting around” space. Works well with 6 to 25 participants for 15 to 30 minutes.

Process: This is a nice frontloaded closing (or debrief) that is not too threatening. If the opportunity arises, you can try to expand on the participant’s answers. Have the participants in the group complete any (or all) of the following phrases with a single word answer:

  • I began the day feeling…
  • The first time I was challenged I felt…
  • I felt ________ by the rest of the group.
  • Right now I feel…
  • What I’ll remember most about the day is…

Depending on the size of the group and the time we have will determine the number of questions we can ask. Don’t forget to remind the group members that it is okay to pass if they do not want to share – they are still thinking about it (processing it) in their heads. And again, if the opportunity presents itself, you could go a little deeper with some of the questions. If you decide to go deeper, make sure there is enough time to address what comes out.

Variations: Another powerful sharing along this line is to ask a question that the participants can answer using only their hands – making symbols and shapes. This is most appropriate when involved in a very reflective closing.

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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