Pocket Processor

Type of Activity:  Processing Tool

Props Needed:  Pocket Processor Cards

Concept:  The Pocket Processor is a processing tool based on the theory of the yin and the yang.  This theory describes two ends of a continuum, with each end having the seed of the other.  A healthy being does not stay at one point on the continuum, but flows continuously between the two extremes.  The Pocket Processor helps participants examine the flow along the continuum.

Process:  The most basic use of the Pocket Processor is to debrief an activity by spreading all cards out and asking each participant to choose the card that best represents some kind of    progress made (either individual or group progress).  Then allow each person to explain his or her choice (e.g. "I chose the competing/cooperating card because I am naturally very competitive, but I successfully fought off my desire to complete the initiative faster than the other group.")

Activity Variations:  Rather than allowing each person to pick a card, the facilitator may ask the group to come to consensus on the one card (or two or three cards) that best exemplifies progress made by the group.  The narrowing down of the cards then may become the topic of discussion and the participants will start processing all of the issues to narrow it down to the top one.  For a direct line to Bullying, ask the group specific questions to come to consensus on around bullying.

  • Come to consensus on the biggest challenge a victim of bullying would have to deal with.
  • Come to consensus on the card that might best represent why someone would be a bully.
  • Discuss the cards shown and put the cards in order from the least significant to the most significant card in relation to how a bully might feel.  Do it a second time on how the victim might feel.

Fifty-four cards can be overwhelming.  Facilitators may choose to narrow the options to a smaller number of cards (7-20) before spreading them out.


Frontloading Activity:  The Pocket Processor is an excellent front-loading tool.  If a group has multiple goals or a poor idea of what its goals are, spread out the cards prior to the day's activities.  Then have the group pick out one or two themes that they want to work on that day.  After the day's activities are complete, pull out the cards chosen and ask them to assess their progress on the goals that they set for themselves at the beginning of the day.  Goals can be individual or as a group.  Rather than setting group goals, a facilitator may frontload by allowing each member of the group to choose his or her own card.


For more resources see:  A Teachable MomentPocket Processor

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