Treasure Chest

Type of Activity:  Processing / Metaphors

Props Needed:  A “Treasure Chest” of some sort, which can be whatever you want it to be!  It could be a cool leather bag or a plain old cardboard box you found in your closet.  There are all types of nice containers out there these days that making your Treasure Chest personal to you will make it that much more of a treasure for you to use.  The contents of your Treasure Chest can be whatever you find that will fit in your chosen container(s).  Most people have that “junk drawer” somewhere in their life—whether it be at the office or at home.  That is a great place to find Treasure Chest items.  Here’s a sample list of some great items to give you an idea of the items you could put into your Treasure Chest.

Concept:  Having tangible metaphoric props to aid in discussion.

Process:  Get out your Treasure Chest and set out all of it's contents before the group. Give the group some time to examine all of the items before them.  Then let the group pick up individual items that metaphorically represent an experience they had during the activity/day/program and then share them with the group.  You will be amazed at some of the responses that your participants will give you.  Sometimes it's less intrusive if you let participants partner up or do this in small groups.

This activity can be really quick or you can spend a lot of time on it.  If you are short on time you can have each person pick one item and then give a 1-2 sentence description to the group on why they picked the item they did and how it related to the activity.  You can also make this much longer by asking the participants to really think about why they picked the item they did and why it metaphorically relates to their experience and how they can use that metaphor in the future.

Safety:  The main safety concern with this activity is to make sure the items in your Treasure Chest are appropriate for the population of people you are using it with.  For instance, you may not want to have actual pocket knives and matches in your Treasure Chest if you are working with Juvenile Offenders in a Lock Down Facility.  You can easily replace those items with pictures of those specific items, as they do make great metaphors that those participants may relate to well.

Also, make sure the items in your treasure chest are not of significant value to you.  There are times when items from your Treasure Chest will ‘mysteriously’ walk off and be lost forever.


For more resources see:  A Teachable Moment

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