ISW Facilitation Ideas

A Creative (P)Reflection Exercise

Submitted by Glynis Wilson Boultbee

I brought this activity to the ISW Spring Institute in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia in June. I thought I’d also share it with the larger ISW community.

The primary intention was to encourage the group and participants to reflect on and learn about their goals for the institute. It also became a jumping off point for a midpoint reflection activity. This is what I did:

  1. Identify key words and themes from pre-workshop communications that reflect participants’ aspirations and/or hopes and/or goals for their time together.
  2. blocks1Create an artistic “summary” of these words, perhaps using images as well. (I chose to bring 1” X 1” wooden blocks to the institute and invited another planner to help me create the blocks.1 A collage would be another option.)
  3. Present this “summary” to the group at the beginning of the workshop, encouraging a conversation about what participants see and what else they hope to learn/gain.
  4. Post the art (or leave it on a central table) to encourage continued reflection on these goals throughout the workshop.
  5. Offer a mid-point (or summative) opportunity for individuals to create their own version given what they’ve learned/experienced in the workshop.
  6. Invite individuals to make two so that they can give one away to another person in the group at the end of the workshop as part of a closing exercise.

Please feel free to try this and/or to adapt it. If you do, I’d love to hear how it goes.

1 The blocks featured on this page were created by the author and an anonymous participant from the institute.