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.
Back in 2012 I shared a nice little app called Make Dice. Recently I noticed there has been a nice little upgrade to the app - you can now add pictures to the sides of the dice. As I jumped in to play around with this new feature it dawned on me that there were also some other options to make dice through the smart phone keyboard. Using the wide variety of emojis the range of dice options explodes. Here are a few dice ideas I'm trying out:
Get to Know You
Number Die: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4
Word Die: Likes, Dislikes, Wishes, Goals, Fears, Thanks
Roll the dice - The number is how many things to say in relation to the word die.
Body Parts Debriefing: Create a set of dice (2 or 3) with a variety of Emoji body parts: Ear - What did you hear today that was important to you; Eyes - What did you see today that was important to you; Mouth - What did you say today that was helpful; Hand - How did you lend a hand today; Clapping Hands - What was worth celebrating today; Making a Bicep Muscle - When did you feel strong today; Heart - Share a feeling you had today.
Roll the dice - Out of the three body parts, choose the body part you want to share with the group.
Feeling Debriefing: Create a set of dice (2 or 3) with a variety of Emoji emotion faces: Happy, Sad, Frustrated, Confused, Angry, Sleepy, Surprised, Nervous, Crying, Bored.
Roll the dice - Choose a feeling from the dice and share the situation with the group.
Traffic Sign Connections: Create a set of dice (2 or 3) with Emoji traffic sign diagrams that can be used for pre-viewing, mid-viewing or reviewing and activity: Stop, Yield, Crosswalk, Two-Way Street, One Way, No Parking, Speed Limit, Handicapped Parking - come up with some relevant concepts for the signs your group can discuss.
Take Pictures: Take pictures of the elements on your course that the group will be attempting during their program. Add them to a set of dice (2 or 3).
Roll the dice - As a closing review participants choose one of the elements to talk about that made a significant impact on her/him or the group.
Training Game (Game): When training a group of facilitators/group leaders give small groups of 3 or 4 an opportunity to show a little creativity.
Equipment Die: Long Rope, Game Spots, Beach Ball(s), Tossables, Webbing, None
Action Die: Running, Circle, Line, Scattered, Connected, Silent
Theme: Hot Lava, Dark Space, Sharks, Rescue, Speed, Quicksand
Roll the dice - What they see is what they get. Each group uses the equipment, action and theme to come up with an activity to present to the rest of the group.
If you have other great dice combo ideas share them in the comments below.
Have fun out there.
I have been a big-time fan of using picture cards as hooks, or connectors to experiential moments. As many of you know I use Chiji Cards a lot for processing. I've also created my own set of picture cards from images in magazines and graphics on greeting cards. I've purchased a large (3-inch diameter) circle punch at one of those big-box craft stores. When I see a picture or graphic that suits a processing situation I might find myself in, I "punch out" the visual and eventually laminate it for my set - I've collected over 50 cards so far.
A recent favorite for me has been the Climer Cards - I wrote about these cards a while back (blog post here). Amy Climer hand painted some wonderful images and then got them made into cards. Get your set here.
Another great idea for picture cards comes from Jen Stanchfield of Experiential Tools. She sells the "Pick-a-Postcard" set of picture postcards that are great for picture processing. Of course you can start a collection of postcards yourself, but Jen provides a nice set to get you started.
With all this said, I just posted to the Resources page of FUNdoing two pages of questions developed by students from two of my Adventure Education Curriculum Design courses. Once at the Resources Page scroll down to the "Activity Tools" and look for the "Picture Processing Questions." They can be a reference for any type of picture cards. Here are a few examples:
Get To Know You Questions:
Processing Questions with Follow-Ups:
Processing Questions with Variations:
Wrap-Up Processing Questions:
My students hope these questions are useful to you and they encourage you to change them up in any way that works for your groups. And, they invite you to share your favorite picture processing questions in the comments below.
All the best,
My good friend Brian designed a wonderful pre-breif and debriefing tool some years back called the Stop-N-Go. This handy portable processing tools is available at the Training Wheels website. A Green, Yellow, and Red marble travel safely in a perforated PVC key chain style tube always at the ready to use with groups. I have one and use it all the time. Which brings me to a slight variation on Brian's idea.
The other day I was walking around one of my favorite activity idea spaces - Lowe's. I've always been attracted to the paint sample cards but have never been inspired to use them due to their size (a bit too small). However, now available are 4 inch by 6 inch paint sample cards for allen + roth's valsper paints. I immediately thought of how to use them.
With Brian's idea of the traffic light colors I can now write down the goals participants have for each color when I'm in an environment to do so. "What do we want to GO for during the program?" I write this on the green card. "What do we want to be CAUTIOUS of?" on the yellow card. And, "What do we want to make sure we STOP doing while we are together? on the red card. I'm sure you see the idea here and the many instances you could interject this line of thinking throughout your programs.
When I'm using the colored marbles I start out asking for one thing related to each color - making it easy to remember and evaluate. Then, as the program progresses we can check in with the marbles from time-to-time to see how we are doing. If it's appropriate we add a consideration to each color. We could even determine that what was decided earlier is no longer relevant so we replace the initial consideration with another one that seems more relevant to what's going on. I see this process happening with the colorful cards as well. Starting with one item and then adding to (writing on) the cards as we progress. We can even cross out things that no longer apply. I like the visual aspect of the cards and seeing the considerations in print. There is still a limit to the amount that will fit on a card, but often times less is more.
Also, just getting my hands on these colorful cards made me realize I could also pick up some green, yellow, and red card stock paper and cut out my own cards. Then there is a front and back side to write on. And, I cold give these cards away to the group at the end of their program to remind them of what they worked on. (I find it interesting what opens a door to an obvious resource.)
What else can we use paint sample cards for? Share your ideas in the comment area below.
All the best,
I finally picked up the Pictionary Card Game from Barnes & Nobel. When I first saw it a while ago I thought these cards would make a nice processing tool.
When I opened up the carton I found the game comes with two identical sets of 44 cards - a red and blue set - all for $6.95 (share a set with a friend or split your group in half so there is more talk time between participants). I was also surprised to find out the cards (printed on sturdy card stock) measure 2 inches by 2.5 inches. I actually like the idea of a tiny-tool to carry with me everywhere. And, another nice little feature is that the pictures on each card are printed on both sides so you never have to spend valuable time turning all the cards face up!! (You know what I'm talking about!!)
The cards have a variety of recognizable images (a plane, a male stick figure, a female stick figure, a house, a star, a clock, and more) and some interpretable images (three wavy lines - see carton picture, three straight lines, and some different geometric shapes). I see lots of connections through the images for meaningful processing conversations.
These little cards can also be used for most of the activities found in the Chiji Guidebook. For example, deal everyone a pictionary card and when you say go participants are challenged to line up in order, as quickly as possible, based on the "realistic" size of the object depicted on the card. Or, line up alphabetically, as quickly as possible, by the name of the object on the card. There will be some interesting interpretations to talk about in both versions of these line ups.
And of course, you can always play the pictionary game during down time, lunch breaks, and evening recreation gatherings.
If you try this tiny-tool, let us know how it goes. Share through the comments below.
All the best,
Here's a fun App "icardsort" I've been using on my iPad for small group activities and processing sessions. (I'm not sure if this App is available on other operating systems.) You make your own word or number cards - one-word cards have been working out well for me - creating decks for all sorts of applications.
To the right is a screen shot of a Word Circle Puzzle from WCP 18s Decks. (Don't know about Word Circle Puzzles? Check out this previous post.) Here's the "sort" part. Once you make your decks you can then touch on a card and move it around the screen. Notice up in the left hand corner of the screen. Cards can be different colors and you can also change the font. Using pinch gestures you can even make the cards bigger of smaller. Great for Word Circle Puzzles!!
I've also started making decks of Debrief Cards. Shown here are some of the cards in my Feelings Deck (notice these cards are much bigger on the screen - again, pinch gestures to resize cards). I originally created this deck for a group specifically working on feelings literacy - navigating their way through understanding the feelings and emotions they've been experiencing in their lives.
With one of my recent groups I creating one-word cards as I progressed through activities. Words came from one-word Whip Arounds we did, words I heard them say during activities, and words they shared during processing sessions. (I did let the group know at the start of the program what I was doing with the iPad.) Then, for a closing we reviewed the words and were able to reflect on specific experiences. The group also had time to pick out their three most "powerful" words - words they wanted to remember about their program.
As with anything, the right prop at the right time. So far pulling out the iPad with the right group has been a positive experience for me. I certainly hooked the "Apples" in the crowd and brought in a piece of tech to engage the tech-savey youth.
Give this one a try - lots of fun! Let me know about your Decks!! Share in the comments below.
All the best,
Recently I was working with some leftover webbing and this came to mind.....why not make Why (K)Nots?
I cut up and prepared a bunch of these to try out with an upcoming high school soccer team program. It turned out to be a nice connection to what they were trying to achieve together - and, a nice giveaway to give them some connection to their experience on the high ropes course.
During the closing circle I brought these out and simply said, "I want to give you something to take with you." (I didn't mention what they were.) The first few faces were priceless - confusion sums it up. Then one of the participants said, "I get it - Why Not!! Get it?," showing others the find. Once the cat was out of the bag, I posed the question: What are some "why (k)nots" you have as a team and for yourself in this upcoming season?
Here are some of the comments I recorded (initially I felt answers were a bit superficial - so I kept asking "what else?" in order to get to some of the latter comments on the list):
It was an interesting and powerful beginning to a simple tool!
P.S. I received a nice email from the coach after their season telling me their "experience together was better than it has been for a while." Players "opened up" more during the season and they really "supported" each other. A "number of the players" had tied their Why (K)Nots to their bag handles to remind themselves of the time they learned together on the course.
Make It: I use a "hot knife" specifically made for cutting nylon rope, webbing, or cord. You can also use a nice sharp scissors and then burn the edges down with a lighter. My webbing lengths are about 9 inches (before putting in the overhand knot). I tried a few different colors - yellow and pink were the best. I used a black Sharpie. (I have not tried other colors yet.)
Extending the Idea: "Why not....write a word or two on the webbing where the knot will be and then "tie in" the commitment?
I'd love to hear about other experiences with this idea. Share in the comments.
All the best,
I've been a fan of Chiji Cards for years now - originally designed as a processing tool for group discussion sessions. They inspired me to write The Chiji Guidebook (along with Steve Simpson, one of the creators of the Chiji Cards) with over two-dozen activities and ideas for the cards.
Recently my friend Amy Climer designed a set of picture cards with images she hand painted. Amy did the legwork to get her creation manufactured into a standard size deck (She funded this project finding supporters with Kickstarter - a wonderful crowd sourced fundraising tool.)
What I love about Amy's deck is it's versatility. First and foremost I can use the picture sides of the Climer Cards with all the activities in The Chiji Guidebook - this gives me the variety I need for the groups I work with multiple times. Using the "other" side of the cards I can sort large groups. "In the deck of 50 cards," Amy details, "are 5 different shapes (groups of 10), 10 numbers (groups of 5), and 6 colors (groups of 8 to 9). The Climber Cards are a powerful pocket-sized tool I highly recommend. Visit Amy's website for details on how you can pick up a deck.
If you are a bit of a cardaholic like me (I love highly portable fun) then check out Blurble. This giant deck of images, I'm sure, could be used in our adventure education settings. As of this post the decks are not publicly available yet, but I'm looking forward to the possibilities (check back on the link from time-to-time). For sure it's going to be a blast to play the game with friends.
We'd love to hear about other great card decks out there and how you use them. Comment below.
All the best, Chris
I found Rory's Story Cubes to be a wonderful addition to my light-weight traveling game bag. The nine dice have a variety of images that can be used to prompt discussions for ice breaker and processing sessions. You can find them online at Gamewright (they have a downloadable PDF on the "rules of play" if you want additional information about the original purpose for the cubes - however, at the time of this blog entry I couldn't open it?!) I have also seen the cubes at Barnes & Noble. While looking for images I saw an Action version and a Voyages version of the cubes - do let me know if these other versions are EE playable.
I also have Rory's Story Cubes on my iPhone - this same app works on my iPad as well (pay once for both devices). I didn't know how much I would actually use the cubes in this tech form, but I've found it to be a hit with some of the adult groups I have worked with (I'm still a bit selective about using my personal technology devices with groups. However, so for, I've had a pretty good sense as to what groups I can count on to be careful.) Some of the most interesting discussions I've had while using technology actually have centered around technology itself and how it has changed the way we communicate and how we spend our time. I'm up for anything that can get a conversation started. I tell my students, "Participants will tend to talk about the things that are at the forefront of their mind, so run with it."
Please send us more adv ed tech - comment below.
All the best, Chris
I'm not completely sure why, but I connect well with and remember things better in threes. I think it started with collecting objects/props in threes - as activity equipment and juggling tools.
At the moment I'm working through the book, Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.) by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen (I'm interested in teaching online - especially, learning how to create continuing education online courses for adventure educators). In one of the initial chapters the authors tell us that when teaching online you must continuously review your course design and content, reflect on the effectiveness of the design and content (Is it doing what you want it to do?), and revise the design and content if it's not working for you or your students.
I realized right away that this is a nice processing model as well. In my simple world I see processing as a noun - it is a time when the facilitator and participants get together to create a space for talking about recent events. The verbs include:
Review - participants simply state what they remember about the current event. I like to ask, "If we were watching a video of the last activity tell me what you would see and hear." Or, "What do you remember seeing and hearing during the last activity?" (Trying to leave out opinion at this stage.) (Note: Roger Greenaway uses the term "reviewing" as the noun for bring participants together to talk. Check out his comprehensive Reviewing Website in the topic.)
Reflect - Here we think and talk about the meaning of what was seen or heard. Topics can be participant generated or facilitator generated. Why was there a lot of laughing? What were some of the reasons for talking loudly? Or, talking at the same time? Why do you think you divided yourselves into two groups? What grade would you give your overall teamwork? What behaviors lead to the grade? Here is the place for opinions, assumptions, and feelings. All good things to talk about.
Revise - After reflecting we can think and talk about how we might want to change - add behaviors that are missing and try to reduce/eliminate behaviors that are not useful. What can we do to get a better grade on our teamwork? What can help us get along better during the next activity? How would taking turns to speak help us out? What do we need to be the best we can be at this time?
This basic approach is not completely novel - it's a simplified version of a large body of work on processing. It's fairly synonymous with the, What? So What? Now What? approach from Outward Bound. The 3-Rs really give me a clearer picture of the steps I like to take during a processing session.
What other "simple" models are out there for processing? Please comment below.
All the best,
On Sale Now!
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.
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.