Team building and introduction exercises
Participants discuss in pairs and ask each other a few questions they have been given. After this, everyone introduces their pairs to the rest of the group. The questions can be related (but not limited to) hobbies or pets.
The instructor has different pictures or postcards with different images
The pictures are on the table or on the floor. Participants choose one picture/postcard that depicts something they can associate themselves with. Everyone shows their picture to the others and tells them what it is in the picture that has something to do with them.
Each participant is handed six cards in which they write six different facts about themselves
These facts can be the first name, family name, birthday/zodiac sign, favourite animal, hobby, and best friend. Participants then place their cards on the table with the text facing down. The game is played as a memory game. Players try to pick up two cards belonging to the same person. When finding two cards from the same person, the player picks up the cards and continues playing. When turning two cards belonging to different persons, the cards are placed back on the table with the text facing down, and it is the next player’s turn.
Before the exercise, the instructor composes a list of questions that help finding out about the participants, for instance, their characters, favourite foods, or hobbies
The questions are written on pieces of paper, which are then placed inside a hat and mixed properly. The hat circulates from one participant to the next. Each participant picks up one piece of paper in their own turn, reads aloud the question and answers it. The question paper is returned to the hat, and the hat is handed to the next participant.
Participants sit in a circle with a piece of paper for everyone
Everyone writes a name (e.g. names of celebrities) on their own paper and hand it to the person sitting on their right side without showing it to the receiving person. Participants attach the papers they have been handed on their forehead. No one can see the text on the piece of paper on their own forehead, but the others can see it. The game begins. Participants take turns to ask questions relating to their own character, e.g. ‘Am I a man or a woman?’ The one who first guesses their own character is the winner.
It is GREAT to be me
Time: 20 minutes for the activity and 10 minutes for discussion
Size: individually but the discussion is in the group
- encourage positive thinking and self-confidence
- increase emotional resilience
Description: Ask all the participants of the group to fill in the boxes on the worksheet “it is GREAT to be me”. Ask them to name their talents and skills (meaning what they are good at), their personal qualities (why other people like them), their achievements and their best qualities. After all the participants have fill in the boxed (they can name as much as they want, but try to encourage at least one in each box) they can share their answers with the others in a group discussion.
(Source: South Lakes Federation: Emotional Resilience – Useful Resources for Schools (Sept’14))
Talents and Skills
(I am good at …)
(I am liked because …)
(I have achieved …)
My Best Qualities
(My best qualities are …)
Introduction Through Cards
Materials: Cards with pictures
Description: Ordinary postcards with different types of pictures or series of cards (e.g. emotion cards or strength cards) are spread on the floor or table. Participants can study the cards and choose ones that speak to them. With the help of the cards, the participants then try to answer the following questions beforehand:
How did I feel when entering the group?
How does the card I chose describe my feelings right now?
What does this card say about me?
What does it say about my background?
How does it depict my character, my hobbies or my skills?
What do I wish to get from this group?
What do I expect from others?
Where have I come from and where am I now?
Materials: A big world map and the map of the country where you are on the wall; pins, thick thread, coloured papers (A4) and marker pens
Description: Group members are asked to write down all continents in capital letters, one continent per one sheet of A4 paper.
Participants are asked to recreate a rough world map out of A4 sheets (on which the names of the continents are written) on empty space on the floor. Together, the group members contemplate whether the continents are in the right places.
Each participant is asked to stand on top of the continent from which they come. Participants take turns to name their home country and possibly the city they used to live in. They also name what they think is wonderful about their home country and/or city.
The world map is spread on the wall. Participants locate their own continents and countries and see which other countries are located in the same continent.
Materials: Music and enough empty space
Description: Participants stand in different sides around the empty space. As the music begins, they start walking freely. As the music stops, they choose a pair. The pairs are asked to discuss the topic the instructor announces when stopping the music. As the music starts again, participants begin to walk again until stopping and finding a new pair with whom to discuss the next topic.
Some possible topics to include:
What did I do last night?
What is good in the country we are now?
What will I do this weekend?
What is bad in the country we are now?
What kind of home do I have?
What is important to me in life?
What kind of family do I have?
What do I want to do in 5 years’ time?
Topics are chosen depending on the group. New questions can be developed and they can be organized in themes. The exercise can also be carried out using the same topic but with different pairs of participants.
Description: Group members are divided into pairs, each pair consisting of one local person and one refugee/person who migrated to this country. Everyone has the opportunity to tell their pair about the things in their life or past which they are willing to share or which they feel are important. Person A speaks without interruption to person B (5 to 10 minutes). The pair can discuss the story person A shared for a further 5 to 10 minutes. After this, the pair discusses for 3 minutes how the discussion felt and how it felt to share the story. Then it is time to change parts.
N.B. In this exercise, it is important to provide a calm attentive atmosphere without any feeling of haste. This exercise aims to get to know each other better and to look at the refugee person (migrant) as an individual, unique human being opposite to categorising people and thinking about them as one group.