Tip #555: Creative Learning Activities in Jordan- Part Two

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” Arthur Koestler

While in Amman, Jordan, I conducted a six-day Train the Trainer Program: Designing and Delivering Dynamic Learning for humanitarian workers.

The 6th day was focused on Facilitating Learning. The participants had to design and facilitate a 10-minute participatory learning activity, with the emphasis on an activity that they had never facilitated before.

There were some absolutely wonderful activities that folks created. The highlights included the following;

Heba created a game about the seven factors of communication. She split the eight people into four teams. The A teams at each table were given play dough and a secret message they were supposed to communicate to the B team without writing out words.

Then she placed clown masks on the A team so, when the B team was asking closed questions to try to ferret out the message, they wouldn’t be able to read the body language of the A team, who could only nod yes or no. She then introduced a list of the seven factors and asked the participants to identify where each factor came into play. Just wonderful!

Dalia used an art project to deal with the issue of inter-gender violence in Jordan. She separated the participants into two table groups of 4, handed them a blank flipchart and asked each person to draw in a corner of the flipchart a picture of a good relationship between a man and a woman (husband/wife, father/daughter, brother/sister, etc.) Then she had the tables pass their flipchart to the other table and told them to “ruin” the relationship.

When they had completed that, she had them pass the flipcharts back to the original tables. She first asked them how they had felt when they drew the good relationships (peaceful, happy, safe, loving) and next how they felt when they saw their ruined pictures (angry, hurt, sad, depressed). She used this to lead into a discussion of the nature of male/female relationships in Jordan and finally concluded with a passionate summary of the current level of violence, particularly against women.

Nour had a wonderful game to check the participants’ retention of the five interest based negotiation concepts: separate the people from the problem; focus on interests, not positions; generate options for mutual gain; rely on objective standards; and keep your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) in your hip pocket. She created a game “board” composed of squares of paper with different numbers on them, 1-10 I believe. She had two teams with four on one team and three on the other. The fourth person was given a special assignment.

She instructed team A to read a content card to team B. If the team B could answer it, they got the number of points represented by the number on the top of the “board” square (which had the correct answer written on the opposite side). If team B had difficulty answering the question, they could ask the special assignment person to read three options from which they could select an answer. If they selected the correct answer from the options, they got half of the points. The game was a great way to check their comprehension.

Morad created another terrific game on the subject of conflict management. He lined up the group on two sides of a masking tape line. He then instructed each side to do anything in their power to get the other side over to their side. It was fun to watch Nadia trying to entice MagD with koosh balls and prizes (she apparently told MagD that she would arrange for me to give the koosh balls to MagD!) Others pulled or pushed each other, tried reasoning, tried bribery. It was pretty noisy and chaotic.

Then he had them sit at the tables and review a list of 10 questions related to the activity, such as “what happened,” “why,” etc. After they answered the questions, they discussed their different observations and rationales. He ultimately related their answers and the experience to three key points. One of these was the importance of reflecting rather than reacting. Just great!

I just love how much I learn every time I conduct train the trainer programs!!!

 May your learning be sweet.


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