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.
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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.