Something new. Let's try this out together. Before you read the description, I suggest you take a look at (and/or download) the cards you get!
Activity Objective: Using all the cards, pair them up so that two cards make a phrase that has a particular (Part 1) or new (Part 2) meaning.
Facilitated Objective: Explore prior knowledge (and why this might be useful), and practice behaviors related to communication, sharing voice, community knowledge, and building rapport.
Needs & Numbers: Print out the 38 Phraseology Cards below on copy paper or card stock paper - go with a color other than white to spice it up a bit (or, maybe a few different colors). For long-term use laminated the cards if you are using regular (thin) copy paper. Card stock holds up well on its own. One set of 38 cards works well with a group of two to 16 participants.
Time: 15 to 20 minutes at any time during a program – maybe a little longer if you plan to use the phrases for a processing session at the end of a program (depending on the number of players of course and how much they like to talk).
Set-Up: Spread out the cards, words-side up, on a tabletop or floor, so all the cards can easily be read.
Part 1: Ask (challenge) your group to match two cards together that make up a known (documented) phrase that is known to have a particular meaning. (The Meanings Key below includes one or two historical meanings for each phrase.)
When someone identifies a pair, discuss what meaning the phrase has for people. Depending on the diversity of the group, there could be a wide range of meanings. Then, find out if the phrase might have a particular connection to the group or might it have any influence on the group as they work together - could it be a "norm" the group wants to adopt?
There will be some phrases (I'm betting) that will be unknown to the group. This can be a good time to talk about "unknowns" that might show up during a program. You can use the "Meaning Key" to share a meaning and discuss how this impacts the group.
Does the group need to match up all the cards? Maybe? Maybe not?
If there is time, move into Part 2. Or, after working together for a while and "trying out" some of the phrases, put out the cards again and try Part 2 - make some new meaning.
Part 2: The group has already matched the cards into the common form. Now, make new meanings by matching two (or more?) cards into an uncommon form and define the phrase. These could end up being fun, silly combinations or more serious, norm-relevant combinations.
Making new meaning might be a good conversation (processing) topic. Run with the energy of the group.
Processing with the Cards: You could pull the cards back out at the end of a program and find out, by putting cards together, which phrases really stood out for the group during the program.
Facilitation Notes: As the group works through Part 1 (or later in Part 2), they may notice the boarders of the cards and realize one type of boarder (solid lines) is the first part of a phrase and the other boarder (dotted line) is the second part of a phrase.
If they recognize this, will it be easier? Maybe? Maybe they never realize this. No matter. It's just another form of data that can be useful or not needed. This can relate to the work you do together. When we "look" or "pay attention" we might see something that will help. Looking is a learned skill that can help us in many ways.
When we look, we have the opportunity to uncover more meaning and make more meaning. This activity is all about making meaning together as a group. And, know that it's okay to share your understanding of the phrases as well - it doesn't "mean" you have the right answer, it's only "an" answer.
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.