Labyrinths have been around for centuries and are an activity for action and reflection. The labyrinth has only one path so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It makes for a wonderful reflection tool that allows participants to enter with something specific in their mind, and reflect on it during the time it takes to wind their way through the maze. Once they reach the center, they can stay there as long as they like before they wind their way back out. The path winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives. It touches your sorrows and releases your joys. Walk it with an open mind and an open heart.
If you happen to live near a labyrinth, maintain your social distancing and get outside and reflect on whatever you’d like. If that’s not an option, I found a Virtual Labyrinth online that you can click through. You can also print off and finger trace the labyrinth on the following page.
- Explain the concept and purpose of a Labyrinth
- Have each participant print and finger-trace the Labyrinth on the next page, or visit the Virtual Labyrinth
- Encourage participants to focus on an experience while traversing the labyrinth.
- The typical goal is to reach the center of the labyrinth, and return to the outside, without crossing any lines, and without talking.
- Movement with meditation and introspection are the key.
- What feelings did you notice as you were traversing the labyrinth?
- What was the journey like for you?
- What are you taking with you as a result of the journey?
- Commercial Labyrinth Walk tarp available from Training Wheels
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, Object lessons are defined as, ’something that serves as a practical example of a principle or abstract idea.’ Object lessons are most often applied to difficult abstract concepts which simplify the learning into a concept that is more tangible.
The main thing that an object lesson does is create an emotional connection to the abstract concept, driving it home to the participants under your influence. Instead of jumping right into a lesson plan, you pique the interest of the participants, unveiling an “aha” moment that gets brain cells engaged in the total learning process.
Object lessons do more than tell about what they are teaching. Instead, they show, in an easy to understand way, what it is that you are trying to portray. They are in fact suitable for all ages, and are quite powerful with participants that can discern and draw more powerful insights and connections from the metaphor. Furthermore, because older audiences have more biased viewpoints, object lessons are ideal for breaking through those barriers, which is a distinct advantage in any teaching situation. In order for participants to grasp a concept, they must be open to it in the first place.
Why Use Object Lessons?
As a facilitator, preparation is always a part of the process. Facilitators that are well prepared are able to reach their participants in a much more profound way. Participants realize that they are being made a priority and the learning is enriched. There are many other reasons to use object lessons are part of your facilitation strategy.
ä Learning Retention: There is a teaching cliché that brings this concept into focus. When a participant hears something, they may forget it; when they see something, they may retain it; when they experience something, it becomes a part of them, and learning becomes easy. Object lessons assist in the retention of learning, because more parts of the brain are engaged and the participant experiences the lesson as a more wholly involved process.
ä Simplifying Concepts: Especially when you are dealing with children and participants, there are a lot of times when you want to bring complex lessons down to a more understandable level. In order to do this, you have to create a connection between what is being presented and something that your participant is already familiar with. Object lessons make this possible.
ä Increased Involvement: Participants can become easily bored with the learning process. When you are able to get them up, moving, and involved, the synapses are activated and a more energetic class time is the result.