Those of you who know a little about me, understand I really like the Chiji Cards - if you don't know, I wrote The Chiji Guidebook with Steve Simpson several years back that includes a couple dozen activities you can lead using the cards. (If you want to know a bit more about the cards, HERES a recent post.) But, I do love "cards" of all sorts.
There are 84 cards in the game measuring about 3.5 by 6 inches. The pictures are very interesting combinations of colors and images that make you look twice in order to determine what it is you are actually looking at. Let me share a few ways I've used the cards recently:
The Story of Your Experience I pulled the cards out to share with some friends at the post-conference at the most recent AEE gathering. We came up with the idea to use the cards to tell the story of our collective conference journey, starting from when we left our homes up to how we got to be sitting were you were at that moment.. We scattered the cards out on the floor (a very appropriate carpet for the experience I would add) and started placing them in a "layered" sequential story line. It was a really nice way (in my opinion) to reflect on a sequence of events. We talked about our journeys over the previous four days, but I'm sure it would work just was well to talk about a two or three hour program.
Describe Your Group Recently I used the cards to find out more about the group I was working with. I scattered all of the cards across two different tables. I asked my group (of 15 people) to work together to choose 6 to 10 cards that would tell me something about them. In they end they chose 6 cards that told me they liked challenges, they were strategic problem solvers, they trusted each other to help out, and they were embarking on a new project and, most likely, it was going to take a rainbow and a horse to get them there (you'll know the card when you see it). It was really fun to hear them tell me about themselves through the pictures.
Tell Me a Story One of the most obvious activities for these cards is to create stories. This was one of the first things I tried with a group of individuals involved in a treatment program. After the cards were shuffled around, each person ended up with a card they did not choose to pick up - I considered this a random selection. Then, the participants got into groups of 4 and created a story together using the cards as prompts and visual aids. Then, every group decided to share their story with everyone else (something I did not think they would want to do - I just wanted everyone to create something with his/her small group). The results were simply wonderful. Some of the stories were about their collective treatment journeys (like The Story of Your Experience above) and some were mystical fantasies. My point of the activity was to get them to "think on their feet - be creative" - wonderful results.
If you pick up a set of these cards, let me know how they work for you. Leave me a comment below!
All the best to you out there! Have FUN!
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
P.S. If you search around for Dixit, you will also find out there are a number of expansion packs available as well. You could end up with 100s of choices - maybe there would be themes to put together as a set or maybe emotions that are apparent in the cards that could be explored. Keep me posted!!
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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.