In The Chiji Guidebook: A Collection of Experiential Activities and Ideas for Using Chiji Cards (I co-authored with Steve Simpson), there is an object lesson activity called Relationships. In this activity you spread the deck of image cards out on the floor or table and ask your participants to scan the cards and look for "relationships" between two or three cards. When they find cards that relate they call out "RELATIONSHIP" and then pull out the two or three cards and share what relationship they see. After the share, the cards are placed back into the mix and more relationships are called.
For example, looking at the cards above, I see an eagle and an ostrich. They are both birds. (I cannot say they both fly since the ostrich is a flightless bird.) Or, I could pick out the lamp and the fire - the lamp can hold a flame, or they both provide light.
The facilitated objective behind the Relationships activity is to open up a conversation with participants about relationships. After you "play the game" for a while you can present questions like: What is important to you in a relationship? What do you bring to a relationship? What strains a relationship? What sorts of relationships are there? How can we fix relationships when they seem broken? An so on.
Recently I came up with Relationships Too. I wanted the interaction with the cards to be more random, a bit more challenging. I wanted to force more creative thinking sooner in the activity process (since, when I used this activity for the first time with a small group of corporate adults, I had little time to reach the "innovative thinking" objective I was asked to cover).
Here's the idea. Shuffle the deck of Chiji Cards and set the deck on the table. Then, place two cards (drawn from the top of the deck) to one side of the deck (see pictures above). Ask the group, "What relationships can you make between the two cards showing?" After an answer I ask, "Is there another relationship?" And again, "Is there another relationship?" I go on with this question until someone (or more than someone) tells me there are no more relationships they can see (Note: There is often some frustration that surfaces in the first round or two over my "incessant" question - good stuff to talk about!). After determining there are no more relationships between the two cars, someone in the group can flip over another card and place it on top of either of the two cards showing. Then, play continues. "What relationships can you make between the two cards showing?" "Is there another relationship?"
In both versions of Relationships (for me), the "easy" connections are identified right away. Then, over time, more complex relationships emerge. How many relationships can you make between the Farm card and the Rainbow card? How about the Farm and the Rabbit cards? (Is it only a Rabbit?) Again, both versions allow me to explore the complexities of relationships AND they help me emphasize that after we get past the "easy" answers, more complex and innovative ideas can emerge.
Find your copy of The Chiji Guidebook and Cards HERE.
Change up Relationships with Climer Cards. Find them HERE.
Go to Wood 'N' Barnes Publishing for a FREE Chiji Card Processing Activity HERE.
Have FUN out there my friends. Keep me posted.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
Needs: One suit of standard playing cards, one set of Chiji cards (13 to 18) that are easier to identify (we’ll call these the “general” cards), and one set of Chiji cards (13 to 18) that are a bit more abstract (we’ll call these the “abstract” cards). The pictures provided are examples of the three sets - feel free to choose the cards you want to use with your groups.
NOTE 1: If you only choose 13 Chiji cards for the general and abstract sets this might lead the group to a solution where each of the Chiji cards represents one of the cards from a standard playing card suit – since the first line up is with the standard playing cards.
NOTE 2: The more Chiji cards you use in each of these two sets the more challenging the process becomes.
NOTE 3: If you don't have Chiji cards (yet), use another set of image cards that you can divide into general and abstract sets.
Numbers: This one plays a little better with smaller groups of four to six participants. However, you could have multiple groups playing at the same time if you have more than one deck of Chiji cards.
Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Process: Have all your card sets ready – again, the Chiji sets pictures provided in this write up are examples. You can pick your own cards for each set.
Consensus Line Ups is played in three rounds. Each round is played with a different set of cards. First the playing cards, then the general set of Chiji cards and finally the abstract set of Chiji cards.
Gather your group around a table or a comfortable place on the floor. Set down the suit of playing cards face up so all the cards can be seen. Give your group the following directions:
You might spend some time talking about what consensus is all about and how groups might come to consensus. This activity (for me) is all about the process a group will go through to reach a decision.
After the group has successfully lined up the playing cards, spend some time on the relevant discussion questions below. Then, move into the next round of card line ups. If the group has already created some helpful norms around their decision-making process, the Chiji card rounds should move along smoothly. If the group is still working on their decision-making process this activity can help.
This activity idea came to me while thinking about working with a small group of leaders (small group programming is much different for me than programming for the typical 12 to 24 participant groups). After using Consensus Line Ups for the first time I really liked it - maybe it was just the right group at the right time or maybe it's just (going to be) a good one for small group interactions. As noted above, these line ups provided a journey - the outcome itself was only the end of one journey (as noted by one of the leaders in the group), so that another journey could begin.
Other Chiji Cards Resources:
Living Cards (blog post)
Story Line Processing (blog post)
That Person Over There: Stories (blog post)
The Chiji Guidebook: A Collection of Experiential Activities and Ideas for Using Chiji Cards
Have FUN out there my friends! Keep me posted.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
As many of you know I'm a fan of Chiji Cards. I love their versatility. They started out as a "picture processing" tool. Now, they can be used in a variety of activities. (See The Chiji Guidebook HERE.)
One of my favorite activities is using the cards to prompt "Personal Stories" that participants share with each other at different times throughout a program. I will use "happy moment" stories at the beginning of a program. I will use "challenging moment" stories after the group has some time to get to know each other. And, I will use "learning stories" at the end of a program to discuss important moments. In each case participants pick a Chiji image card that prompts a story for them related to the theme.
In an earlier post I shared about how I've been using Dixit cards to tell stories and create story lines (find it HERE). You can also create story lines using Chiji Cards (or your favorite image cards). Recently I found that the Dixit cards are a bit too complex for some of my younger groups (decoding the Dixit images takes more cognitive time) so I've gone back to using the simpler image Chiji Cards with them.
Story Line Processing
At the end of a program scatter all the Chiji Cards out on the floor/ground/table. Then ask your group to choose images that highlight different moment in times from their program. The timeline story can begin from before they even arrived at the program site to the point they are now, or even beyond - what will it be like once they leave the program site? As the facilitator, use probing questions related to their overall program objectives to remind them of certain experiences within the sequence of the day. For example:
As the group chooses specific images, place them down in sequence to represent their timeline of work together. As they move down the timeline there will be fewer images to choose from. I like this consequence because it forces a little more creative thinking and image interpretation. After the timeline has been created, provide a brief summary of events for the group so they can hear "their program story" one more time before they go.
Be sure to get a picture of the timeline you can send them (e.g., multiple shots that can be cobbled together or a panorama) so they can print and post it as a reminder of their experience and learning.
Do you have a fun way to use Chiji Cards (or other image cards)? Leave us a comment below.
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
That Person Over There made it's debut as a no-prop activity in, The Empty Bag (Hammond & Cavert, 2003 - Find it Here). I added Chiji Processing Cards (shown above) to the next version for the activity in The Chiji Guidebook. In this first Chiji version of That Person Over There, everyone picks a card that represents a characteristic of themselves (e.g., for me I could pick the Turtle card and say I'm self sufficient). As the cards are exchanged, people are sharing the characteristic of the person that belongs to the card they are holding. Sharing one characteristic with others is fairly (but not always) easy to remember - so a pretty easy challenge.. In the newest variation I ask my participants to share a bit more about themselves in order to take the learning a little deeper.
That Person Over There: Stories I ask my participants to choose a Chiji image card (all the cards are spread out on a table or on the floor) that reminds them of an uplifting/happy story in their lives - a story they would be willing to share with someone else. When everyone has a card (with a story in mind) I ask them to find another person in the room and share their story (if they need someone to share with just tell them to raise a hand up and look for someone else doing the same thing - get together and share).
After each person shares their story with their partner the two switch cards. Each one then goes off to find someone else to talk with. When they meet up with a different person they will be sharing the story of the card they are holding and pointing out the person the card (story) belongs to. For example, if I have Katie's card I say, "This card belongs to Katie, she's over there (I point to Katie), the one in the blue shirt. She chose this card with a present on it because she loved Christmas time as a child - and still does." Then. my partner would do the same - point out the person who belongs to her card and then share the story. After we both share we exchange cards and go off to share the new story we are holding.
As I'm sure you can surmise, this activity is like the game Telephone. Messages have a tendency to change the more they are passed along. So, after about three minutes of exchanging stories I ask everyone to stop. Then, go find the person that is connected to the card in their possession. Have them tell the story they know about the card and find out how accurate it ends up. If there are some inaccuracies the true story can be shared between pairs. Everyone is asked to circle up after they get their card/story, back.
Powerful Lesson I'm sure it's obvious to you what major lesson can be drawn from information that changes as it's passed from person-to-person (e.g., gossip) - basically, you might not be able to believe all that you hear because of this dynamic. For me, there is a more powerful lesson from this direct experience. I end up asking the question, "Did anyone check with the person that told the original story about a card you received?" Everyone was milling around in close proximity to each other. It would be easy to check with anyone in the group. So, why didn't we do this? (And, why don't we do this in our everyday lives?) I've had some great conversations around this question in the recent past. It seems to boil down to, "We don't think about asking the person." Why is that? And, what do we want to do about this situation?
Note: Many of you know I'm partial to Chiji Cards, but any image cards can work, even pictures cut out of magazines. My next favorite sets of images are on the Climer Cards.
Let me know how this one goes for you!
All the best,
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This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.