Tip #454: Wonderfully Creative Activities on the Fifth Day of Training in Amman

“The creative is the place where no one else have ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.” Alan Alda

Hello!  This was a really great day. Although T was late picking me up because of traffic, it turned out that L had been at the training hotel since 6 am and had almost everything set up by the time I finally got there at 7:30 am. That was a huge relief.

S, who had asked me yesterday what colors I liked, gave me an exquisitely embroidered pillow and lots of hugs and kisses. What a sweetheart!

Next, my research last night on how to fix a frozen iPod was very fruitful and ultimately very effective. By the middle of the day, I was able to play music again. Hurray!

Every single one of the 10 participants who facilitated their activities in my room was absolutely terrific. I truly have never had a group that is so consistently creative. It was such a joy to watch them.

I’ll give you four examples.

M K. had taped up about 8 articles. She had the other nine participants do a gallery stroll (to music) to assess what they liked and didn’t like about the articles. She then drew out their answers (which a volunteer printed on a flip chart), which created a list of the essential elements of a good article. It was fun, classy, engaged everyone, and met the needs of all learning styles.

Z had everyone stand in a circle with his or her backs facing the center of the circle. He had one volunteer in the center on whom he placed 13 markers- while the participants took turns stating one thing they love and one thing they hate.

He had them turn around and then asked each person how many markers they saw. Because of their different perspectives, they all saw a different number. He used that to reinforce the idea of different perspectives.

Z asked the group to identify what impacts our perspectives: religion, culture, gender, stereotypes, likes, dislikes, etc. After they had listed their responses, he validated their list by a reference on a flip chart. He also had them relate their loves and hates to the perspective categories listed.

Next, he had the participants open both hands and interlace them so they could see through a space between the thumbs. He first had them look through their fingers when their hands were far from their bodies- and determined that this really narrowed their perspectives, because now they could only see a part of the center person’s body. After he had them bring their hands next to their faces, they were able to have a much wider perspective.

It was very creative, engaging and effective. He did a masterful job.

A created a game around charades to focus on stereotypes. She had the group sit on the floor and told them that they were in a theatre and she was on the stage. She asked for a volunteer to come take a slip of paper and then act out what was on it, to have the other participants guess what it was. The first one was guessed to be a domestic worker- female, but the real answer was that the “actor” was supposed to be a male domestic worker.

The next role they had to guess was the highest religious person, who is typically male. In this case, the imam was a woman.

The third role was a belly dancer, but male instead of female. I’m sure you’re getting the point.

A explained that there are stages dealing with stereotypes: recognize, tolerate, accept, defend, and finally adopt. Then she asked the participants to signal (thumbs up if yes and thumbs down if no) if they would want a male domestic worker in their home. With few exceptions, most said no.

Next she asked who would want a male belly dancer to entertain at their wedding. Only one woman said yes, it might be interesting. The others were vehemently against the idea.

Since she only had 10 minutes, the activity had to end at this point. The next activity would be to discuss the reasons for their votes. It was fascinating.

Oh, I also have to tell you about N’s activity. She created a scrabble relay game about stereotypes. She split the participants into two teams and told them that stereotypes can be both positive and negative. She drew out some examples of each from the group.

Then she showed them that she had letters written on small square pieces of paper that she had laid out on a long table, with white paper for one team and yellow paper for the other.

The teams were lined up behind a line of masking tape on the floor. When she counted down to 1, each team could send 1 person at a time to select three letters and bring them back to the team so the next person could repeat the process. They were to get enough letters to write three different reasons why people stereotype. And by golly, both teams did! Interestingly enough, they both wrote “veil” as one of their three words.

You probably can tell by all of this that I loved these folks! More next week.

May your learning be sweet.


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